Last year’s M. Night Shyamalan-produced Devil, right? Well, yes, but also the new-to-DVD Elevator. Whereas supernatural forces were to blame in Devil, the indie Elevator boasts something even more evil: mankind.
Going up in a metal box to a corporate fundraising party are nine people, including:
• the CEO (John Getz, The Social Network) and his “evil little bitch” granddaughter (twins Amanda and Rachel Pace);
• a company mover-shaker (Christopher Backus, Redline) and his newswoman fiancée (Tehmina Sunny, Children of Men);
• a less-successful employee (Devin Ratray, Surrogates), presumably because he’s obese;
• a gorgeous pregnant woman (Anita Briem, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night);
• a claustrophobic comedian (Joey Slotnick, Hollow Man), who’s the night’s last-minute hired entertainment;
• a security guard (Waleed Zuaiter, The Men Who Stare at Goats);
• and a longtime investor (Shirley Knight, Our Idiot Brother).
Oh, and one of them is hiding a bomb that will kill anyone within a range of 5 meters.
I’m a sucker for small-scale, single-location movies, and Elevator succeeds more often than not. It builds a solid batch of suspense that while never boils over, sustains itself until Norwegian director Stig Svendsen loosens his grip to allow you to breath. The identity is the bomber is just one aspect of the suspense; defusing the device is another. While someone like Alfred Hitchcock would’ve had a field day with Marc Rosenberg’s script, Svendsen does a fine job with very little money. —Rod Lott