When you are having a clear out and boxing stuff up to take to the charity shop, you do tend to find things you didn’t realise you had or had forgotten about. This is definitely the case with ‘Down’ which I reckon I bought as an ex-rental from Blockbuster at least 15 years ago and never watched it.
As it was in the pile to take to the charity shop I thought I’d give it a watch. I knew it was a remake of the Dutch cult classic ‘The Lift’ and was directed by the same Dick Maas who also did the terrific ‘Amsterdamned’. It also starred Naomi Watts in a leading role just before her breakout in ‘The Ring’ and James Marshall who was in Twin Peaks.
Strange things are happening at the fictional Millennium Tower in New York. The elevators are playing up, there’s been a security guard losing his head in a freak accident and then a poor blind bloke and his guide dog have fallen down the lift shaft. Two elevator repair guys are sent in to find out what’s going on and basically can find no reason why the lifts are playing up.
Enter a nosy reporter (Watts) who knows there’s a story here so she teams up one off the elevator repair men (Marshall) and they look into it. Cue some more deaths and finally they work it all out but not before you’ve had a real laugh watching various people bite the bullet and some enjoy cheesy dialogue.
I am so glad I kept it to watch and its gone back on the shelf as it’s very silly and incredibly entertaining. Others may disagree and there’s plenty of scorn heaped at it in reviews. Take it as it is, a reasonably well budgeted B movie with at times some good effects and then some really ropey CGI but it is twenty years old for goodness sake.
Maas has also roped in veteran character actors Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya and Michael Ironside who are always worth watching and they all suitably chew the scenery. Seeing as my copy is an ex-rental DVD I was surprised by the hard decent picture and a nice 5.1 soundtrack. Blue Underground released it a few years ago on Blu-ray along with The Lift, I am seriously considering getting it so I can experience it in HD.
Gormless, OTT entertainment of the finest vintage, I’m just a little pissed off I could have watched it years ago.