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Stairs (2019) Movie Poster
UK  •    •  102m  •    •  Directed by: Tom Paton.  •  Starring: Simon Meacock, Bentley Kalu, Samantha Schnitzler, Toby Osmond, Piotr Baumann, Rachel Warren, Matt Malecki, Shayne Ward, Phoebe Robinson-Galvin, Sophie Austin, Alana Wallace, Spencer Collings, Julia Szamalek.  •  Music by: Max Sweiry.
    Special ops squad ''Hell's Bastards'' are sent to infiltrate a civil war to retrieve intel. The unit soon find themselves trapped on a never-ending stairwell forced to climb or die. To survive, they must revisit their past sins if they ever want to get off.


This is sort of like "Cube" in a stairwell, in that the trapped, desperate protagonists keep moving yep can't escape being in endless repetitions of the same purgatorial environment and situations. Only "Cube" had striking design elements (and deaths), whereas this dull institutional stairwell, with arbitrarily colored lighting at times, for most of 100 minutes.

You're very aware that this is a tricked-up way of making a genre film with extremely limited locations and effects (which encompasses actual repetitions of scenes), but for that to work, the tricks themselves have to be original and compalling. They're not, so you can never forget it's a very low-budget movie trying to cover that fact with leaps of imagination that in fact aren't very imaginative, let alone suspenseful or intriguing. Even the notion of repeatedly trying to revise recent history a la "Edge of Tomorrow" is dully worked out, using repetition as a narrative gimmick to ends that are tedious rather than ingenious. The horror content, such as it is, is really pedestrian. Nor are the characters interesting, as they're all humorless paramilitary types, which some of the actors are hardly convincing as. Needless to say, an eventual anti-war message kinda sinks into the general quicksand of dreariness here; the movie doesn't have even the minimum depth for it to have any impact.

You've seen worse. But under any of its three titles so far, this is the kind of movie that just kills time rather than filling it with any genuine suspense or excitement, despite much running around and shootingstabbingetc. each other. At no point are you particularly glad you've stuck with it. Nothing crucial would have been lost had it been trimmed by half an hour...or any amount, really.

Review by ofumalow from the Internet Movie Database.