The Lift (1983)

THE LIFT (1983)
aka De lift
Article 3921 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-29-2012
Posting Date: 5-9-2012
Directed by Dick Maas
Featuring Huub Stapel, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Josine van Dalsum
Country: Netherlands
What it is: Technology run amuck!

When an elevator system’s erratic behavior begins causing the deaths of various people, a determined elevator repairman seeks to find the answer to the mystery…

I first encountered this movie on a video box at a store, in which the tagline “Take the stairs! Take the stairs! For God’s sake, take the stairs!” gave me the sense that this was one of the sillier horror concepts to come down the pike. It’s only if you think about it a bit that you realize the horror potential of an elevator is high, with the combination of claustrophobia and the possibility of plummeting to a painful death in the face of emotionless technology both coming into play. IMDB classifies the movie as a comedy (among other genres), but the English language dub that I saw wasn’t overtly comic; if it is a comedy, it’s done with a straight face and a lot of subtlety. The fairy dust that explains the behavior of the elevator system is a bit far-fetched, and the movie’s pace is a bit too leisurely. Nevertheless, the movie does generate a bit of quiet suspense, and though it’s no classic, it works a lot better than you think it would.

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