When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New Yorks most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic Mark Newman is sent out to find the cause of the problems. His investigation meets unexpected resistance and not everybody seems to be happy with his involvement. After a gruesome and deadly incident, in which a blind man falls into the shaft and a security guard is decapitated, the police start an investigation. They are however not very successful. Mark is determined to find the cause. He is joined by a female reporter, Jennifer, who is looking for a juicy story. Together they try to unravel the secrets behind the mysterious behaviour of the elevator that seems to have a life of its own. When things get worse and death toll rises, The Government, fearing terrorists are involved, seal off the building. What at first looked like a routine job turns into a horrifying nightmare in which Mark has to face an enemy whose blood thirst is only met by its unpredictability. An enemy that is determined to fight off any intruder looking for the dark secret that lurks inside the belly of the building. An enemy that has to be feared. An enemy that has to be taken .......DOWN.
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This is a typical Dick Maas production. Cheesy to the max, limited plot,laughable dialogue and comic action sequences.Anyone who has seen anything by Maas will recognise these as his trademarkand just go with the flow.I was dreading watching this movie from all the comments on IMDB but whileit is hardly a classic (it's pretty poor really), it IS very entertaining.It's a real no brainer that passes the time quite nicely and whileartistically his original "De Lift" is a better movie, I found this one tobe more entertaining.Score out of 10? 5/10 for the film itself, 7.5/10 for entertainmentvalue.PS~ Forgot to mention the acting.... probably for the best;-)
I just happened to be in Blockbuster Video on August 14, 2004, lookingfor some good horror movies. I just happened to find "The Shaft" (or"Down", whatever you want to call it). As I read the summary, I decidedto rent the disc, since I do not see very much action in moviesinvolving elevators (other than the movie "Speed"). As I became morefamiliar with the characters and as the movie progressed, my firstimpression was that some evil spirit was haunting the elevator. I wasreally biting my nails when those pregnant women were trying to get outof the elevator. I later saw the blind man and his dog fall to their deaths in theshaft, the other get decapitated by the elevator, the skater going inand out of the elevator with the White Light (which made me believesome supernatural force was controlling the elevator), the little girlplaying with the doors and WORSE - the many people that fell throughthe elevator's floor. You see, I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN TRAPPED in anelevator, and that's exactly what it makes you do - do Number One inyour pants. It's a terrifying situation I would not recommend to anyone. I still believed it was demons at work until I viewed the scene wherethat German scientist and the MB's (Millennium Building) owner/managerhad that secret meeting in their vehicles at a secret place. They werediscussing the fact that the scientist needed to dismantle a mysteriousinvention that he had created to operate the elevators, since it waskilling people. The elevator mechanic, journalist and that other guywere talking about this weird stuff earlier, which is supposed to be abiomechanism - which runs and operates like a machine of iron andsteel, but thinks, feeds, grows and reproduces like a living thing(sounds almost like "Batteries Not Included", doesn't it?).After observing all of this, I became more anxious to see what the heckwas controlling those elevators. After, seeing the elevator mechanic gothrough several passageways, ups and downs, I finally got my answer ashe opened that compartment and showed us that stationary "mechanicallifeform" with a lava-like glow. It was interesting to see him try tostab that thing to death (laugh). He goes through some more drama butmanages to blow the thing away with a bazooka. Overall, I gave this movie C+. It was good in bringing some elevatoraction to the table, which is rare, and the drama was excellent. Thepress conferences and investigations made it exciting also. However,biomechanics/biocomputers are LIGHT YEARS away from us right now,considering the fact that we don't even have have regular iron andsteel computers with INDEPENDENT artificial intelligence, like HAL("2001: A Space Odyssey"), JOSHUA ("WARGAMES") and SKYNET ("Terminator3: Rise of the Machines"). Besides, who would want a machine anywaythat could possibly feel physical or emotional pain while doing all thehard and heavy work? Also, I would have been content with the CityMayor, not the United States President, to handle the problem withthese elevators. (When that plane crashed in the Hudson several yearsback killing everyone on board, did the President even speak on that?No, just Mayor Guiliani.) However, something about the presence of thelocal SWAT teams made it real interesting though. Anyway, that's myopinion of the film for now. Goodbye.
Before Naomi Watts became a big star from her excellent performances inexcellent films like "Huckabees", "Mulholland Drive", and "21 Grams";she was delivering excellent performances in a lot of garbage movieslike "The Shaft" aka "Down". And while her performance here does notsave the movie, it does elevate (bad pun intended) it to a viewablelevel.The only other reason to watch this thing is to see yet another exampleof the film-making phenomenon that big is not only not better, but muchworse. Which is probably related to the human interest angle injournalism, where a large disaster cannot sustain interest as long asthe same story on a smaller more human scale.For those who don't already know it, "The Shaft" or "Down" is DutchDirector/Writer Dick Mass's remake of his 1983 classic "De Lift". Oneposted comment about the original says: "Â . looks technicallyproficient, with fine color texture, smooth cinematography ( by MarcFelperlaan ) and tight editing ( by Hans van Dongen ), elements thathelp to maintain a high level of suspense. The story clearly echoesJaws, with its obsessed hero and corrupted authority figures, who wouldrather disguise the truth than face it. Despite this movie being hisdebut, many of Maas's personal trademarks are also already in place:quick pacing, sadistic gore effects modified by edgy humor, mild satireon bourgeois preoccupations, and broadly etched supporting characters".Apparently the title "Elevator" was already taken and "Lift" was tooEuropean for the remake he was left with two very stupid titles withwhich the distributors have been experimenting since 2001.In the 1983 version, the elevator of an Amsterdam flat (anotherEuropean term) misbehaves badly. The elevator begins trying to crush,suffocate and decapitate passengers. Fearless mechanic Felix doesbattle with the seemingly haunted machine. But the anti-technologytwist is that the elevator has developed a mind of its own due to anexperimental 'biochip'. Felix is assisted by a magazine reporter namedMieke de Beer ( wasn't that the name of Scotty's German pen pal in"Eurotrip"?).The original was shot in just 30 days with a very limited budget, thisconstrained the production resulting in an intimate story, viewersidentified with the characters and this greatly enhanced the suspenselevel. This time someone gave Maas a lot of money and he pumped up theproduction; moving it to New York, adding tons of unnecessary effects,making the elevator absurdly powerful, and geometrically increasing thesize of the cast. The Amsterdam elevator was deadly but in ways that amalfunctioning elevator could be deadly. The new elevator is like across between a James Bond story and a poor 1950's science fictionfilm.Not surprisingly the human interest wheels fall off immediately. If youignore your strong impulse to bail and just keep watching you will seedecent performances from Watts and the from various character actorswho populate the cast.Unfortunately for Mass, he choose New York City for this 2001 movie anddeviated from the original by throwing in some misdirection aboutterrorists being behind the elevator accidents. There is even a lineabout the first bombing of the World Trade Center. Apparently this wasembarrassing enough to insure that there was no theatrical release.
I caught this movie by mistake and the synopsis of the film sounded good. While the local video store was going out of buisness, I found it under drama. Well known actors like Naomi Watts (The Ring) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) star in this mess. The film is way to long and parts of it doesnt even make sense. The killings are bad as you can tell all were done poorly with CGI. The last death with the man getting his legs crushed did look pretty good. I do not recommend this to anyone. Killer elevators sounds like a good idea but trust me, this movie isnt worth the time.
This is a B-movie, no matter what anyone says, Naomi Watts does NOTmake this movie an A movie, its defintly a B-Movie. Its about a killerelevator! I'll say that again: A killer elevator! Not a psycho killer,or some ghost or supernatural force, no its a killer elevator! How didthis ever get made? I wonder if Namoi Watts still keeps this on herresume. There is some weird convoluted plot that they never fullyexplain how the government was expiermenting on bio-metal or somethingso stupid that it is never fully explained. Is this supposed to be ascary movie? Its very hard to write ten lines that is required todescribe how crappy this movie is.
For the most part Dick Maas's "Down" (alternately called "The Shaft")is your typical horror movie, with some people trying to stop asupremely evil force. But several aspects made this unlike any horrorflick that I've ever seen.For starters, the building has that cool art deco look from the '30s.In fact, it looks very much like the edifice in "Ghost Busters"(especially that scene of the statue on the roof). But the trulyeye-opening facet is two of the songs that get used in the movie. Notonly do we hear "She's Not There" by The Zombies, but there's also theoriginal version of "Come On", of which a later version was the VERYFIRST SONG released by The Rolling Stones! Oh, and later, we hear thatsomeone blew his mind out in a car, just as The Beatles sang in "A Dayin the Life".OK, so none of that really relates to the haunted elevator. But I foundall that to be the neatest part of the movie. Otherwise it's a regularhorror flick. We can forgive Naomi Watts for this one, as this wasbefore she got really famous. In fact, just a few months before"Mulholland Drive". Also starring James Marshall, Michael Ironside,Edward Herrmann and Ron Perlman.PS: I notice that this got released in the Netherlands on September 6,2001. Had they waited five days, a movie about unpleasant occurrencesin a New York skyscraper would have no longer been acceptable.
You know, people will probably bust up this movie, but it was reallyprettygood. It had a bit of a far fetched plot, but it was funny in places andthe gore wasn't bad. The bit when the elevator chopped off the guy's headwas a decent effect -- slow motion and relatively seamless. And the factthat they had references to terrorism in a NY skyscraper -- before 9/11 --was pretty cool. Even made reference to the 93 attempt on the WTC and toBin Laden -- a while before the actual event. Eerie. At least someoneoutthere connected the dots. I'd rent it again.
I can't comprehend this movie. It was so ridiculous that I thought itmight be a parody, but as time wore on, I realized that there was nosense of humor to it. There were some reasonably big names and itseemed like there was a lot of money behind it. But a horror moviebased on a murdering elevator? Just don't go in there.I also noticed that many of the performers looked downrightembarrassed. There is a certain dead eyed expression an actor gets whenthey realize that they are involved in a real piece of garbage. Justpause this movie once or twice during a close up and you'll see exactlywhat I mean.This was just painful in every respect. I can't believe that this wasdone by professionals. This was basically a movie written by anelevator repairman and meant for the enjoyment of other elevatorrepairmen. EVERYONE else should stay the hell away.
What horror? This movie's not even about a haunted lift. There's no ghost orpoltergeist at work. Its about a mad scientist who experiments with computerchips & something screws up & you have an elevator with a mind of its own.I'm sure a haunted lift would be more exciting. After all I think we'requite sick of movies about machines coming alive. Not a very interesting movie & a tad unrealistic at times. Why on earth isthe police the one setting up stinger missles? Isn't that the army's job?And how come the police even have stinger missiles in the first place? Andwhy would the police place stinger missiles all over the building & thenleave them unattended to? Doesn't make any sense at all!But at least Naomi Watts was in it, so that's a positive thing. Must say shelooks a lot hotter here than in The Ring. Boring story line but at least thebabe makes it not a total loss!
Just for kicks, let's pretend you're a disgraced military scientist.You want to create "bio-machines" that incorporate mechanical deviceswith human intelligence. However, your first attempts were always kindof hard to control and turned out a little, well, homicidal. So themilitary fired you... but of course you want to continue your research.Well why not continue your dangerous research on an elevator in a busy,New York skyscraper that's open to the public? Seems like a good plan.What could possibly go wrong?That's the plot of this one. The elevator kills people because it ispartially powered by human brain cells and is apparently evil for nogood reason. Yep. Sound scary? Sound at all plausible? Didn't think so.This might be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The shockingthing is that Naomi Watts shows up as a newspaper reporter trying toget the scoop on the "killer elevator". What on earth is a real stardoing in this thing? I realize it was earlier in her career, but onewould think her standards were better than this. Did she read thescript before taking the job? Ron Perlman shows up as well; maybe hefailed to check out the script too.The dialogue is so bad it's hard to even laugh at it. The acting ishard to stomach. This movie just goes to show that a bad script and baddirection can make any actor look terrible. James Marshall isparticularly laughable as the leading man. He looks like a high schooldrama student trying to remember his lines for the big play.The premise is so strange. Of all the things to experiment on, whywould the scientist choose an elevator? Do we really need asuper-intelligent elevator? With such a bad premise, one can certainlyimagine how the half-baked plot plays out.It's hard to think of one good thing about this movie. It did make melaugh occasionally with its overall amateurish look and terribledialogue. However, it's not a fun, campy B-movie. Down (aka The Shaft)is just plain boring, formulaic and doesn't make much sense.
SO as of late, I've been on a Naomi Watts trip, so I rented this movie. Ifigured, Wellll....I liked the Ring.........quite frankely, this movie is something that bored me till the end. Intwenty years, the guys at Mystery Science Theater 3000 will parody thisandbecome popular once more, hopefully leading to a new movie/show.Acting and dialogue in this movie is laughable. The special effects werealso equally hilarious. The plot bored me to tears, as I desperatelywaitedfor the movie to end. The beginning till about more than half way into thefilm is just dragging.The best part of the entire movie though, is when the skater punk fliesthrough the window. THAT made me laugh so hard cause it was sooooooocheesy!As a journalism major, i hated Watts's character....a stereotypicaljournalist who does things that all reporters would NEVER do!My friend Joe and I began to joke that since the elevators are being runbybrains of living matter, it should have been called "BRAINULA!" This madethe movie more tolerable. Try to MST3K this movie and you will succeed.
What's so damn stupid about this movie is that its so corny, but the presence of Naomi Watts (Mulholland Dr., Le Divorce) doesnt even matter. The effects and situations are so stupid. A frickin elevator with it's own mind!!! come on people, what next, shopping carts that take you hostage and make you do things you dont want to particapate in, please, come on. Come on, we've seen peoples heads get chopped off but not if it turns into a special effect right away and the evelator shooting up with those people is so cheesy. The climatic end sucks, the beginning sucks and no one knows how to act except of course Watts and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Blade II), cuz he rules. Also stars James Marshall, Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Major Payne), Eric Thal (the Puppet Masters), Edward Herrmann (The Lost Boys) and Dan Hedaya (the Usual Suspects). All in all ladies and gentlemen, this is bottom of the barrell right here.
A number of years ago there was a film "The Lift" which was also about a demonic elevator.It was much better than this one.This, I think, could have been a decent film but it fails completely.
It's a movie about a killer elevator, what can you expect. I didn'texpect much, but this didn't live up to my expectations. I like keep anopen mind and give far-fetched plots a chance, I can see the potentialin the idea, but this movie screws it all up.Several elevator accidents in the land mark, The Millennium Building,keeps people worried and a repairman puzzled. When he starts to dig, itturns out it's not a regular elevator he's dealing with.The story starts out OK, but twists and turns and ends up being themost stupid story imaginable. It's with no doubt one of the stupideststories ever and you just can't take it serious. At the end I actuallyfelt bad on the films behalf. The characters are OK. Some of them arejust really weired and you wonder what that was all about, but theleads are OK. They could've been better, but it works. The dialog onthe other hand is at times stiff and bad. There are some occasionalpunch-lines in there, but they are so funny compared to the rest thatthey work against any mood of the film and along with weiredunexplained characters makes you stop taking it serious.The acting is adequate. James Marshall does a fair job as Mark Newman.Naomi Watts is OK, but has done much better. The rest of the cast isadequate.What saves this movie is the cinematography. It's one of the bestthings about it. It's not really great, but it's better than anythingelse. The composition is OK and the lightning is OK as well. They don'treally try to do anything out of the ordinary and I believe that's agood thing as I don't think they would've succeeded with doing so.There are some nice editing to and that lift's this movie a bit.There are also a nice score. It works as a mood builder, but it'sunderestimated. They've should use the score more to get this movie allmore thrilling.The effects I would say are below average. The CGI is very obvious andhas a very animation film look to it. The fighting is also slow anddon't look good. The explosions are OK, though.All together this is not enough to say that this is a good movie. I wasexpecting a bad horror movie when I sat down and I was disappointedwhen I left. Unless you're a die hard fan of killer elevator movies Isee no reason to watch this movie.
This review is from: The Shaft (DVD) I am Autistic and one of my favorite things to watch is and has always been Elevators. This was a no brainer must Buy for me but I am really quite weird and loving it. I must say even through I LOVE Elevators this movie looks so corny. The set's All Look as if they were dressed up bunkers. The Movie looks as if were filmed mostly in the Fall Out Shelter of a really Old School in California. I say looks like the filming was in California only because the concrete beams in this high rise building looked like those gigantic earthquake refinforced things you see in L.A.The building was done up in all shades of that super institutional olive drab prison green that just sucks the life out of everything living within 50 Miles. The acting was wooden the plot was transparent and the action was weaker than a 90 year old on full life support. The saving grace of this movie is it took itself seriously and in a really bad B horror movie that usually insures its funny as heck. The Shaft was funny the life form running the Elevator Looks like a discarded wad of Bubble gum glowing of course.The cops and safety personal were your stereotyped gung-ho super man muscle heads whose collective IQ would not break 70 if you added 20 points. I gave the movie 4 stars only because, I like Elevators. I saw another reviewer say he was waiting for the sequel called The Escalator. I suggest this will likely be a Trilogy. The Final installment to be named "The Stairwell". You want a cheap laugh in a horror movie. You looking for that dumb cheap thing to buy to push your shipping to the $25 minimum for super saver shipping. Buy this. Its aweful yes but its also aweful funny in a MST 3000 sort of way.
Now, a personal note, I will not write truly negative reviews, nomatter how bad the film. I really am astounded at the people who takethe time to write about why they think "Citizen Kane" or "Ikiru" orwhatever isn't simply "over-rated" but "awful" or "stupid" enough thatthey have to warn other people NOT to watch them.Actually, I don't even understand people bother to rate a movie under a"5," even if they don't write a comment.That said, any "1" from me is meant to reflect an odd sort of applause! This is a really, really, really bad movie. In the best sense!The premise, of a bio-engineered elevator system designed by anobsessive ex-military weapons program mad scientist, is, well, prettylame, however laudably weird, and the script and the acting manage topress every possible drop of the lameness by pretty much everybad-movie device possible: over-acting; poorly-conceived characterswith insufficient motivation; ridiculous, yet lame, stereotyping; dulluse of excessive profanity; ridiculous direction and cinematography.In other words: you name it; it's bad.The final perfection of the lameness here (and, no, I rarely use thatparticular word in general conversation) is that the monster - somesort of bio-engineered living humanoid braincell larva - is killed atwhat is supposed to be the climax of the film, before revealingwhatever-the-hell form it was about to metamorphose into!You don't even get to see the monster!?!?!!!If you have time that's really in need of killing, and this happens tobe on TV, watch it. At least until you find something better to do!
This movie is dreadful. I was amazed that the writers would be soignorant about the way that normal people talk. What was with thedialog? I suppose they were aiming for an easy "R" rating. I couldn'tplace the architecture and "look" of the building for a while, butfinally it hit me. The director was a big fan of "Ghostbusters" and"Die Hard". But the shots of the top of the building lookedsuspiciously like an interior of a sound stage.I wasn't hoping for much from this movie, and thankfully I didn't payto see it in the theater but I did find one truly eerie theme thatother reviewers have noted. Shots of the world trade center towers areseen throughout the movie. The president is seen in a news conferencetalking about the events in this high rise building being the work ofterrorists. Just when was this movie released?
This movie got 8 percent of votes: 10/10! Wow. I couldnÂ´t imagine anyonegiving this a 10/10. They must have really enjoyed it. There is a couple ofgood scenes, like with the skaters. And the camerawork is quite good.However, this is not a good horror movie. *SPOILER* There is not theslightest of reasonable explanations as to why the elevator behaves the wayit does. Except that it is a kind of reference to the madness of "TheInvisible Man" (H.G. WellsÂ´ version, that is). Anyway, itÂ´s an interestingidea, and probably impossible to perform any better than this, so maybe itÂ´sa lame idea, actually. Very sadistic and without purpose. Take the stairs!Watch Saint Sinners by Clive Barker! It is much better!
Not only is the scipt cheesy and the acting bad, there are a lot of Bin Laden, terrorist, Afghan puns which in post-9/11 America are hard to tolerate. Naomi Watts lacks any talent in this movie and it seems she must have spent a lot of time with an acting coach between this movie and Mulholland Drive or The Ring. The other actors are no-name, bit part actors and aren't worth mention. Complete waste of time/money.
The first thing you will notice about 'The Shaft' is that the acting is not good at all. Not even Naomi Watts (whom I enjoyed in 'The Ring') could deliver a line like she really meant it. You don't realize how annoying bad acting is until you see an entire movie full of it.The second thing you will notice about 'The Shaft' is that every other word spoken by anyone is the F word. At first, it was cute. After the 600th time I heard it, I decided to give up swearing for good. The only other thing more annoying than bad acting? Over-use of the F word.The third thing you will notice about 'The Shaft' is that the elevators are evil! I've heard of people being evil. I've even heard of buildings being evil. But...an elevator? Actually, it may be more than just one elevator, but something freaky is happening in the Millennium Building in New York, and people are dying. Naomi plays a reporter who thinks there's a lot more to these deaths than just a malfunction. So, she teams up with an elevator repairman to get to the the bottom of it. Is it terrorists? Is the building built over an Indial burial ground? (yes, believe it or not, that was mentioned as a possibility.) Or is the elevator just a quick way to travel to hell? A couple of the scenes in the elevators reminded me of the elevator scene in 'Speed', and I wished I was watching that instead. I will admit that a couple of the evil elevator scenes were kinda cool, but the ending was just downright silly (and not well-explained).The fourth thing you will notice about 'The Shaft' is that it could have had potential - not to be a box office horror hit, but to at least be a decent straight-to-video release. Of course, they would have had to recast the entire cast, rewrite the script and explain themselves a little better in the end. If the movie had been done correctly, it should have made me scared to death to ever set foot in an elevator again (I've never liked elevators at all), but I'll still take my chances if it's 4 or more floors I have to travel up. Do not waste your time on this. If you want to see Naomi in a better-acted, better-scripted movie, get 'The Ring'. If you want to watch a movie about an evil building, try 'The Shining'. But if you want my advice, I'd suggest taking the stairs.