The Elevator, based on a true incident, is a film about a television game show host Jack Tramell (James Parks), who hosts a show called “Three Minutes”, very similar to the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”.
After filming his last game episode on Labor Day, Jack drives to home. On the parking lot beneath the building, he pokes George the security guard (Burt Young) who has fallen asleep bored, and throws an intuitive joke that he might lose his job if anyone sees him “meditating”.
Jack enters the elevator. A woman with black hair enters right after him. As the two travel upstairs, she enters the code to stop the elevator on her smartphone. Jack tries to talk to her to press the button for the elevator to continue, but she electrocutes him. When Jack wakes up, he sees himself tied, and she reveals her name as Kathryne (Caroline Goodall).
Kathryne threatens Jack’s life, asking him to play his own game with the new rules she imposes. He has to guess the right answers to her questions, but if he gets an answer wrong, she will be forced to remove a part of his body. With every precious moment of his life, Jack is trying to understand the issues and the purpose behind his kidnapping. Both, Kathryne and Jack reveal their stories of losses of their close family members, as the story of the movie unfolds.
The Elevator has superb lighting, an innovative use of cinematography in only a few locations and superb acting that is able to hold your attention from the first to the last frame. It jumps right to the inciting incident within the first few minutes, and the bloody fight between the protagonist and the antagonist is heavily suspenseful until the last scene. The superb dramatic action is well synched with the careful psychological crafting of the camera shots, always giving the audience a different look of the scene, even though the characters are at the same place.
James Parks and Caroline Goodall are truly amazing at their parts.
While I found the film to be very impressive by the way it is handled, it also has a couple tiny boo-boos. In the middle of the film, two tenants are trying to get in the elevator. They quickly understand that the elevator seems stuck. First, the acting, especially the actor, wasn’t very believable. He just didn’t seem to either fit the role, or he wasn’t prepared for the scene at the time it was filmed. The female tenant seemed more prepared but the energy of the scene wasn’t there.
Overall, The Elevator is truly remarkable for being a smaller budget feature, filmed in the United States by an Italian producer Riccardo Neri and the Italian director Massimo Coglitore.
All pictures courtesy of The Elevator Facebook page