Halloween is a time for candy, costumes, and bad horror movies. Not the kind of movie that stays with you and chills your very core, leaving you changed. Nope, this is the time of year for silliness, for jump-scares that leave you with a sense of relief when you realize it was “just a cat.” For that reason, I present to you a little gem from the Netherlands–THE LIFT (1983).
In case the title didn’t give a hint, the movie is about an evil elevator. Yep. Evil elevator. Why is the elevator evil? Because of lightning and microchips…okay, it’s best if we don’t try and find any logic behind it. And really, why should we? It’s a movie about a homicidal elevator.
The movie does have a hero: an elevator repairman, of course. But he’s kind of a jerk. There’s the female reporter set on stealing the repairman away from his wife and kids in what tries very hard to be a romantic subplot. Not the most sympathetic character. Almost all of the residents using abovesaid elevator are insufferable turds. Really, you may end up rooting for the elevator because at least it gets the characters to shut up.
Director Dick Maas at least keeps the movie just on the border of being over-the-top. Considering the subject matter, there is very little gore. I suspect it had more to do with the almost non-existent budget than shying away from blood and guts. In the rare moments you can forget the pure absurdity of the plot, his style is interesting to watch. American audiences knew of Maas’ work from the Golden Earring music video, “Twilight Zone” and now that I’ve watched it again, I can see stylistic similarities between the two. Maas must have had fun with the movie because he remade the movie eighteen years later as THE SHAFT (2001) with an English speaking cast.
There are two options for watching THE LIFT in the comfort of your living room. Dubbed in English:
Or if you prefer the original Dutch dialogue, there is English subtitled:
Question of the night: what’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever seen?