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The Shaft (2001)

Down (original title)
When the elevators in New York's 102-story Millennium Building start to malfunction, mechanic Mark Newman is sent to find the cause. After a series of gruesome and deadly "accidents" occur, Mark joins forces with spunky reporter Jennifer.

Director:

Dick Maas

Writer:

Dick Maas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marshall ... Mark Newman
Naomi Watts ... Jennifer Evans
Eric Thal ... Jeffrey
Michael Ironside ... Gunter Steinberg
Edward Herrmann ... Milligan
Dan Hedaya ... Lt. McBain
Ron Perlman ... Mitchell
Kathryn Meisle ... Mildred
Martin McDougall ... Security Guard Andy
John Cariani ... Security Guard Gary
David Gwillim ... Blind Man (Mr Faith)
Peter Banks Peter Banks ... Maintenance Chief
William Vanderpuye William Vanderpuye ... Murphy (as Will Vanderpuye)
Wilke Durand Wilke Durand ... Kowalski's Wife
Todd Boyce ... ESU Captain
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Storyline

When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic Mark Newman is sent out to find the cause of the problems. His investigation meets unexpected resistance and not everybody seems to be happy with his involvement. After a gruesome and deadly incident, in which a blind man falls into the shaft and a security guard is decapitated, the police start an investigation. They are however not very successful. Mark is determined to find the cause. He is joined by a female reporter, Jennifer, who is looking for a juicy story. Together they try to unravel the secrets behind the mysterious behaviour of the elevator that seems to have a life of it's own. When things get worse and death toll rises, The Government, fearing terrorists are involved, seal off the building. What at first looked like a routine job turns into a horrifying nightmare in which Mark has to face an enemy whose blood ... Written by FFF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOUR NEXT STOP... IS HELL.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life Naomi Watts is afraid of elevators. See more »

Quotes

Mitchell: We live in a vertical world. If you can't trust the elevators, what the fuck *can* you trust?
See more »

Connections

References Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

She's Not There
Written by Rod Argent
Performed by The Zombies
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

 
No Thanks, I'll Take the Stairs
9 November 2003 | by MrCritical1See all my reviews

Dutch director Dick Maas has essentially remade his own 1983 film De Lift with 2001's The Shaft (originally entitled Down), about an evil elevator system that suddenly begins killing people in a fancy-schmancy skyscraper. Artisan has shamelessly redesigned the cover art to resemble The Ring, and to highlight the presence of star Naomi Watts, though who that kid on the cover is supposed to be is really anyone's guess, because he is certainly not in the movie I watched.

In between the dull investigative drivel, Maas delivers a few fun horror moments, including a spectacular elevator door decapitation and a fun bird's-eye P.O.V. of a character's leap off the observation deck. Maas even subjects an elevator full of very pregnant women to a terrifying ride.

With the exception of a few establishing shots, it appears that much of The Shaft was shot in Europe, and the unconvincing "New Yawk" accents of most of the extras is definitely giggle-worthy. To Maas's credit, he has somehow managed to fill the film with a decent blend of familiar faces in supporting roles, including Edward Herrmann (the building manager), Dan Hedaya (a police lieutenant), Ron Perlman (the elevator repair company boss) and venerable bad guy Michael Ironside.

There are brief moments of great fun in the murderous elevator flick, The Shaft, but too much time is spent talking and the dramatic payoff is a real eye-roller, even in B-movie horror terms. Artisan has supplied a solid 5.1 surround track, but the horribly cropped 1.33:1 fullframe transfer almost negates that.

Yep, The Shaft has its ups and downs.

6*(10* Rating System)


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Details

Country:

USA | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2001 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shaft See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$535,658
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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