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De Lift

Lift, De (1983) Movie Poster
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  •  Netherlands  •    •  95m  •    •  Directed by: Dick Maas.  •  Starring: Huub Stapel, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Josine van Dalsum, Liz Snoyink, Wiske Sterringa, Huib Broos, Pieter Lutz, Johan Hobo, Dick Scheffer, Matthias Maat, Ger van Groningen, Jan Anne Drenth, Emma Onrust.  •  Music by: Dick Maas.
      A lift begins displaying some erratic behavior, like trapping some party goers and nearly suffocating them, and decapitating a security guard. Felix, the technician from the lift company, can't find anything wrong with the circuitry. When he and a nosy reporter begin asking questions of the lift company's electronics partner, his boss puts him on a leave of absence. A subsequent visit to a professor leads them to believe that some evil experiment is being conducted.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:39
 

Review:

Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Image from: Lift, De (1983)
Everyone loves John Carpenter's Halloween. De Lift is the Dutch answer to Halloween. Like John Carpenter, Director, Dick Maas, writes, directs and composes the music for the movie De Lift (1983). Dick Maas does a great job at all three roles. The plot is well written and slowly builds suspense and intrigue. The movie is slickly directed and contains a number of trick camera shots (like the bowling scene) and an overall very stylistic camera work. The lighting of the exterior of the elevator is especially effective. The score is a clearly Carpenter-inspired synthesized bit of music that really adds to the atmosphere of this movie.

Director Dick Maas has created a great looking film. The film looks and feels like a 1980's horror movie should. I felt while watching this movie that Dick Maas must have been heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining", but in interviews Dick Maas insists that the Lift is his take on Steven Spielberg's "Jaws". Dick Maas has stated that he wanted the same feel in De Lift as the audience felt in Jaws with the elevator taking the place of the shark. Dick Maas uses similar techniques to Spielberg as humor and horror are both presented in this film. Dick Maas has a flair for some pretty funny sight gags that are littered throughout the film. There are several false jump scenes as various characters approach the elevator only to escape unharmed. The elevator, like the shark in Jaws, is sure to eventually get its prey and each time a victim escapes it only heightens the tension.

While the main setting of this film is the fancy Icarus high-rise office building, the hero is a blue collar working man played to perfection by dutch actor, Huub Stapel. This movie is full of great Dutch character actors. None of the characters in this movie seem like throw away parts. All of the characters have interesting little quirks and all seem to advance the plot and bring this story to life. Many of the actors had to take on double and sometimes triple duties to get this film made. The budget did not provide for any stunt men, so every actor did his or her own stunts, including the dangerous scenes in the elevator shaft. Additionally, the non-actor crew was pressed into service as extras for many of the shots.

Yes, this is a movie about a killer elevator, but why does the elevator kill? This movie treats its subject matter very serious, to the point where this movie has the feel of a crime drama. There is much time spent following our blue collar hero (elevator repair man) around as he investigates what is causing this elevator to kill people. The investigation portion of the film includes visits to the factory, interviews with computer technicians, visits to a mental hospital to interview the last elevator repairman to work on the killer elevator and a crash course on bio-technology by an excited professor. Is the killer elevator part of some corporate conspiracy; is there some alien slime that is making the elevator kill; or, has the microchip developed not only self awareness and free will but also an organic like ability to reproduce? The movie really does not ever provide a satisfactory explanation.

I watched the whole movie in Dutch with English sub-titles. I tried re-watching it in English, but the voice actors that did the dubbing work were awful and gave an uninspired performance. The Dutch version with English sub-titles is far superior. Director Dick Maas did a remake of De Lift in 2001 titled "The ShaftDown" starring Naomi Watts.


Review by edeighton from the Internet Movie Database.