Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Bojana Novakovic, Geoffrey
Release Date: 2010
Reviewed by: Scott Green
FA Scorecard: B
At first glance, you might label this a horror film only to be appreciate by fans of blood, splatter and gore hounds everywhere, but you would be wrong. It’s easy to see why this film was marketed to the horror fans, for the entire premise is set up just like any other horror movie; an elevator full of unsuspecting strangers become trapped between floors and while the maintenance crew attempt to rescue them, someone inside is killing them, one by one every time the lights go out and they are left in the dark.
Their only contact with the outside world is through a live feed video camera with one way audio to a detective who is desperately trying to reach them before another victim is murdered. The survivors inside become panicked as they attempt to figure out who the murderer is, but something much darker is happening in their midst, for one of them is not just a killer, one of them is the Devil himself.
Yup, sounds like a traditional horror movie to me, but it’s not. What if I told you this movie had moral values and a redeeming message about the power of forgiveness? That’s right. So, is this a faith-based film with evangelical propaganda? Not at all, it’s a full on mystery suspense thriller that is character-driven and unfolds almost in the tradition of an Alfred Hitchcock classic. It will draw you in and leave you on the edge of your seat in several scenes until the final act when the plot twist and true subject of the film is revealed.
As for the message and redeeming moral of the story, I cannot share, for that would spoil a major plot point, but if you are a daring and adventurous viewer, or one who enjoys mystery and suspense without all the blood and gore of traditional horror films, and you can appreciate having something a little more than thrills to entertain you, then I highly suggest you give this one a viewing.
I have invited several of my non-legalistic Christian friends over to view this and each one of them have been pleasantly surprised and confessed, it is nothing like what they were suspecting from their first impressions. As for my NON-Christian friends, even they enjoyed the mystery and suspense of the film and were not put off or offended by the morality, but rather impressed that a film of this genre could include such a positive and challenging message that speaks to all of us.
As for content, the film earns it’s PG-13 rating, due to violence and mild language. There was nothing sexual or profane, except a single crude comment of sarcasm regarding a character’s mother. I would never share this in church, but I would certainly invite selected members and friends over to my home for a movie night and use this as an ice-breaker for a great study or topic of conversation. Great for teens and young adults.