Hey gang, Valkor here. I just realized that I've reviewed a lot of films titled with just one word. And looking through the current stack I see that there's many more to come. Two films in particular that are totally related to this next review – Buried and Brake involves "man in box" storylines, but what about people in a box? Only one film comes close and that's Exam, except with this next film Elevator, our participants are stranded in much tighter quarters.
Elevator centers on a group of nine who just happen to be stuck in… well an Elevator. The film starts out as our players make their way to a party held at the Barton Building in NYC. We have couple Don (Christopher Backus) and Maureen (Tehmina Sunny), Don's partner Martin (Devin Ratray), investor Jane Redding (Shirley Knight), security guard Mohammed (Waleed Zuaiter), pregnant Barton associate Celine (Anita Briem), comedian George (Joey Slotnick) and finally we have the man himself, Henry Barton (John Getz) accompanied by his granddaughter Madeline (dually played by twins Rachel and Amanda Pace). No sooner are they all on the elevator does George start to exhibit signs of claustrophobia. So Little Madeline, being the little brat that she is, decides to take advantage of the situation and presses the stop button, causing the elevator to halt near the 49th floor. Things start out simple enough, but as tensions flare secrets are revealed and to make matters worse, one of the members has a bomb. And that's when the situation shift gears towards a desperate fight for survival.
Elevator is powder keg of scandal, revelation, racism, and confrontation of a corporate mogul looking to make his swan song appearance all wrapped in an 80 plus minute film. Is it coincidence or a sick twist of fate that bring these people together? That's for you to decide. And is a film based on nine people trapped in an elevator bomb worth checking out? We'll leave that up to the TOV Breakdown.
Elevator is a tense thriller that doesn't waste any time getting started. And the level of suspense only increases when a bomb is revealed, though certain revelations do make things that much more… interesting. What makes the film even more intense is that we don't spend the entire film trying to guess who has the bomb - that's revealed straight away. No, it becomes more desperate as this troop tries to escape this precarious predictament. And you'll definitely want to stay for the final, bloody act and prepare to cringe because YOUCH! The story is solid, simple, very straightforward, and the pacing moves at a nice, brisk pace. The acting is well-rounded and everyone puts on an amazing performance, with none really standing out above the others. In the end, if you're looking for a summer time, stay at home treat, then you'll definitely wanna add Elevator to the menu of movie delights.
The film isn't all good and I do have a few issues with it (might be considered nitpicking, but whatevs). For starters, the characters call the police but there's no sign of them until the end as they make a mad rush to get everyone out and away from the bomb. I didn't care for the building's security guard, speaking over the intercom; is he involved or just plain lazy? We'll never know for sure because when he cuts out, he's done for the rest of the film. But I will say this, the dude is pretty ballsy. I didn't care that the characters let a pregnant woman check another character to see if they have a bomb on them. And the Jewish comedian George? Nice acting but man was he annoying! And sticking with George, it takes Mohammed who instantly becomes the butt of George's jokes, far too long to react to George's racist comments. He should have decked him as soon as he got on the elevator and opened his mouth. Also, I know I stated above that I liked the acting and I thought everyone did a great job, but at the same time… I actually wished all of the characters met their demise by that bomb. I guess I mainly gravitate towards the negative on some of the characters and so I'm like "fuck it! Let them all die".
Poor Mrs. Redding. Why they had to do her like that? Oh wait...
Elevator is available now and if you've ever caught sight of the box art and thought you might be interested in seeing the film but passed on it, I'd say give it a try. It's an intense thrill ride well worth checking out at least once. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Elevator 3.5. And look forward to a few more one word films in the next few days. Should be interesting.