Down (2001) Horror Movie Review
Written By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Dick Maas
Writer: Dick Maas
Producer: Laurens Geels
Date Released: September 6, 2001
James Marshall as Mark Newman
Naomi Watts as Jennifer Evans
Eric Thal as Jeffrey McClellan
Michael Ironside as Gunter Steinberg
Edward Herrmann as Matthew Milligan
Dan Hedaya as Lt. McBain
Ron Perlman as Adrian Mitchell
Kathryn Meisle as Mildred
Martin McDougall as Guard Andy
John Cariani as Guard Gary
David Gwillim as Mr. Faith
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Down (2001), originally titled The Shaft, as the title suggests is the story about the elevator in the Millennium Building, one of New York’s most famous landmarks, when it starts 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. In the process, 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 behavior 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 unusual enemy.
Although the gore is very moderate, it contains a few scenes of decapitation and bodies falling all over the place. There are a few jumpy scenes. Several intense scenes as created by the unknown force living inside the elevator. The movie initially is not clear if it is a haunting as suggested in the beginning until further research reveals otherwise.
The Grave Review
Down (2001) is a remake of the remake of the 1983 Dutch film De Lift, which was written and directed by Dick Maas, who also wrote and directed this film. The one area where Down most excels are its visuals. With Down carrying over the majority of murder set pieces from The Lift. And when it comes to the special effects, this is one area where Down is much more effective than its predecessor. Content wise, though Down keeps The Lift’s basic premise. The tone of both films couldn’t be farther apart. With The Lift, being more rooted in the supernatural, while the tone of Down is more in line with the vibe one would associate with disaster films.
Although the film delivers an interesting plot, the character development is lacking to a certain degree. Each character has their own personality, but does not engross the viewer into any one character. However, as far as special effects are concerned, there were some scenes that incorporated this element well.
This film features a solid cast and there is an over the top vibe to the performances that makes the story at hand as the more enjoyable. And nowhere is this more evident then, in regards to this film’s unexpected sense of humor.
Because of these elements, Grave Reviews gives Down (2001) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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