A lift technician finds himself drawn into a web of mystery and peril as he investigates the perplexing deadly accidents occurring in the elevators of a new office building.A lift technician finds himself drawn into a web of mystery and peril as he investigates the perplexing deadly accidents occurring in the elevators of a new office building.A lift technician finds himself drawn into a web of mystery and peril as he investigates the perplexing deadly accidents occurring in the elevators of a new office building.
It seems that Dick Maas' De Lift has become a true horror gem over the years and I even picked up that it's most wanted among cult-collectors. Well, here in the home countries (The Netherlands and Belgium) you can still easily find an old copy in videostores or even on flee-markets, so all you avid fanatics should come pay us a visit! To me, "De Lift" will always remain special because it was one of my very first encounters with the horror genre but even from a more objective viewpoint, I still think it's a very decent film with some genuine scares and an impressively grim atmosphere. The plot is far from brilliant (on the verge of ludicrous, actually) but that's widely made up by some effective shock-sequences and Maas' talent to build up slow suspense. After several people got injured by the newly installed elevator in a fancy building complex, mechanic Felix Adelaar is hired to do a detailed check up. Together with a persistent female reporter, he discovers that the production company has been experimenting with new chips that totally haven't been approved yet. There's a painful use of clichés, the dialogues are poorly written and granted there's a little too much talking going on. But, when the characters aren't talking nonsense, there's some pretty unsettling stuff to see! In the scariest sequence of the entire film, the fiendish elevator plays a deadly game with a young girl while the ominous music will make you move to the end of your seat. The footage filmed in the ugly shaft is really chilling and there's some excellent low-budget gore as well, with a nasty decapitation and a vile hanging as the absolute highlights. The biggest criticism I've come about this site is about the awful dubbing but, since I'm Dutch speaking, I luckily didn't suffer from that. "De Lift" was Dick Maas' first long-feature film and he also pleased the Dutch audiences with the happily deranged adventures of the Flodder family before emigrating to Hollywood where he remade his own debut. Even though Maas managed to recruit a great cast for this project (Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya...), it totally lacks the obscurity and dark cinematography of the original. Give it a look....if you can find it.
- May 18, 2005
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