The Lift

The apartment block lift from hell - Robert Zemeckis student film

Genre: Horror

Length: 07:21

Free To View

3 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : none given,

Director/s : Robert Zemeckis, 

Writer/s : Robert Zemeckis, 

Actor/s : Michael Fuller, 


Going down!

Every day Larry breakfasts, makes his sandwiches, cleans his shoes, and goes to work. His apartment block lift is one of those old ones, a wrought-iron cage within a cage, with manual doors.

At first it behaves normally, coming when called. Then its doors open and close on their own, and it seems to brood as it waits for him. It starts getting cantankerous, moving down a floor so he has to scuttle down the stairs to catch it. And it gets more perverse, tempting him but staying just out of reach as he runs up the stairs…

Until the inevitable happens, and the lift takes him on one final journey.

The film has great angles and moody shadows, and it contrasts the brightness of flat and workplace, both full of electronic appliances, with the ornate gothic gloom of the lift and stairwell. No surprise that Zemeckis went on to be such a master of camera control. The story is a bit iffy, mind – it could have been paced better to build up a sense of dread. Even at seven minutes, the whole thing feels too long, with too much time at home and office. These scenes punctuate the story, but they aren’t the story itself.

This was Zemeckis’s first student film, so let’s not be too critical. If he could go back in time, I wonder whether he’d change it? Go back in time? A ludicrous idea.