4.5/10
3,691
71 user 39 critic

The Shaft (2001)

Down (original title)
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... See full summary »

Director:

Dick Maas

Writer:

Dick Maas
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Lift (1983)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An elevator mysteriously begins to function intelligently on its own, where victims who go near the elevator or use it are killed.

Director: Dick Maas
Stars: Huub Stapel, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Josine van Dalsum
Down II (2018)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Garry Crystal
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Paul Barber, James Eeles
4/20 Massacre (2018)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend's birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.

Director: Dylan Reynolds
Stars: Jamie Bernadette, Vanessa Rose Parker, Stacey Danger
Amsterdamned (1988)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A hard-boiled police detective sets out to capture a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the canals of Amsterdam.

Director: Dick Maas
Stars: Huub Stapel, Monique van de Ven, Serge-Henri Valcke
Down (TV Movie 2012)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Tim is going through the worst day in his adult life leading up to an ultimatum from his inconsiderate roommate to either find a new job by the end of the month or find a new place to stay.... See full summary »

Director: Johnny Caicedo
Stars: Liannette Altuve, Adrian Bada, Edward Barbanell
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jennifer and Mark find information about Gunter Steinberg on Harvard's website, his birth date reads April 15, 1951. It's also director/writer Dick Maas's birth date. See more »

Quotes

Jennifer Evans: I'll pee on them.
See more »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodbye My Friend
Performed by Karla Bonoff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
For Viewers-It Brings You "Down" and Gives You "The Shaft"
9 August 2005 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

Before Naomi Watts became a big star from her excellent performances in excellent films like "Huckabees", "Mulholland Drive", and "21 Grams"; she was delivering excellent performances in a lot of garbage movies like "The Shaft" aka "Down". And while her performance here does not save the movie, it does elevate (bad pun intended) it to a viewable level.

The only other reason to watch this thing is to see yet another example of the film-making phenomenon that big is not only not better, but much worse. Which is probably related to the human interest angle in journalism, where a large disaster cannot sustain interest as long as the same story on a smaller more human scale.

For those who don't already know it, "The Shaft" or "Down" is Dutch Director/Writer Dick Mass's remake of his 1983 classic "De Lift". One posted comment about the original says: "…. looks technically proficient, with fine color texture, smooth cinematography ( by Marc Felperlaan ) and tight editing ( by Hans van Dongen ), elements that help to maintain a high level of suspense. The story clearly echoes Jaws, with its obsessed hero and corrupted authority figures, who would rather disguise the truth than face it. Despite this movie being his debut, many of Maas's personal trademarks are also already in place: quick pacing, sadistic gore effects modified by edgy humor, mild satire on bourgeois preoccupations, and broadly etched supporting characters".

Apparently the title "Elevator" was already taken and "Lift" was too European for the remake he was left with two very stupid titles with which the distributors have been experimenting since 2001.

In the 1983 version, the elevator of an Amsterdam flat (another European term) misbehaves badly. The elevator begins trying to crush, suffocate and decapitate passengers. Fearless mechanic Felix does battle with the seemingly haunted machine. But the anti-technology twist is that the elevator has developed a mind of its own due to an experimental 'biochip'. Felix is assisted by a magazine reporter named Mieke de Beer ( wasn't that the name of Scotty's German pen pal in "Eurotrip"?).

The original was shot in just 30 days with a very limited budget, this constrained the production resulting in an intimate story, viewers identified with the characters and this greatly enhanced the suspense level. This time someone gave Maas a lot of money and he pumped up the production; moving it to New York, adding tons of unnecessary effects, making the elevator absurdly powerful, and geometrically increasing the size of the cast. The Amsterdam elevator was deadly but in ways that a malfunctioning elevator could be deadly. The new elevator is like a cross between a James Bond story and a poor 1950's science fiction film.

Not surprisingly the human interest wheels fall off immediately. If you ignore your strong impulse to bail and just keep watching you will see decent performances from Watts and the from various character actors who populate the cast.

Unfortunately for Mass, he choose New York City for this 2001 movie and deviated from the original by throwing in some misdirection about terrorists being behind the elevator accidents. There is even a line about the first bombing of the World Trade Center. Apparently this was embarrassing enough to insure that there was no theatrical release.


22 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 71 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed