Elevator (2011)

In Need of a Lift

Financier Henry Barton (John Getz) and his granddaughter are attending a party in his honour in the building which is named after him. Having got in to the lift with some of his employees as well as security and the comedian hired for the night they find themselves stuck when the granddaughter presses the emergency stop to wind up the claustrophobic comedian only for the lift to remain stuck. If the situation wasn't tense enough between these strangers it is about to get a lot tenser when they discover one of them is wired to a bomb.

At some point in "Elevator" they mention "Lifeboat" the Alfred Hitchcock movie where we have a group of people stuck on a small lifeboat together and it is for me the greatest one space movie ever made. Unfortunately "Elevator" doesn't get close to achieving what Hitchcock achieved and whilst it goes through the motions with the tension between the people stuck in the lift rising to despair it just fails to really draw you in to their plight. Even when the revelation that the lift is likely to go bang you don't feel any more concern over their plight.

The problem is not in Stig Svendsen's direction, he does a decent job of making this lift feel like an uncomfortably small space which gets smaller the longer the movie goes on. Nope the problem is that once again "Elevator" features characters who are just tossed in there with the writers failing to establish their characters probably because in their heads they know them and forget that the audience doesn't. It means that there is no connection with a single character stuck in there and with some of them ending up quite loathsome it makes it even harder to feel anything for them.

What this all boils down to is that "Elevator" is entertaining but it has some serious flaws most notably the lack of character depth which means that there is no emotional connection with any of those stuck in the lift. If we hade a bit more character detail then "Elevator" could have come good instead of just ending up a movie of scenes which are meant to suffice.