4.5/10
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The Shaft (2001)

Down (original title)
When the elevators in New York's 102-story Millennium Building start to malfunction, mechanic Mark Newman is sent to find the cause. After a series of gruesome and deadly "accidents" occur, Mark joins forces with spunky reporter Jennifer.

Director:

Dick Maas

Writer:

Dick Maas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marshall ... Mark Newman
Naomi Watts ... Jennifer Evans
Eric Thal ... Jeffrey
Michael Ironside ... Gunter Steinberg
Edward Herrmann ... Milligan
Dan Hedaya ... Lt. McBain
Ron Perlman ... Mitchell
Kathryn Meisle ... Mildred
Martin McDougall ... Security Guard Andy
John Cariani ... Security Guard Gary
David Gwillim ... Blind Man (Mr Faith)
Peter Banks Peter Banks ... Maintenance Chief
William Vanderpuye William Vanderpuye ... Murphy (as Will Vanderpuye)
Wilke Durand Wilke Durand ... Kowalski's Wife
Todd Boyce ... ESU Captain
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Storyline

When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic Mark Newman is sent out to find the cause of the problems. His investigation meets unexpected resistance and not everybody seems to be happy with his involvement. After a gruesome and deadly incident, in which a blind man falls into the shaft and a security guard is decapitated, the police start an investigation. They are however not very successful. Mark is determined to find the cause. He is joined by a female reporter, Jennifer, who is looking for a juicy story. Together they try to unravel the secrets behind the mysterious behaviour of the elevator that seems to have a life of it's own. When things get worse and death toll rises, The Government, fearing terrorists are involved, seal off the building. What at first looked like a routine job turns into a horrifying nightmare in which Mark has to face an enemy whose blood ... Written by FFF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOUR NEXT STOP... IS HELL.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2001 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shaft See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$535,658
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The third movie in four years to feature both Dan Hedaya and Ron Perlman. The first and second were Alien: Resurrection (1997) and The Second Civil War (1997). See more »

Quotes

Jennifer Evans: I'll pee on them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Movie Review: Dick Maas on Sint (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Shot
Performed by Karen Young
See more »

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User Reviews

My rating of this movie.
16 August 2004 | by doomsday_freakSee all my reviews

I just happened to be in Blockbuster Video on August 14, 2004, looking for some good horror movies. I just happened to find "The Shaft" (or "Down", whatever you want to call it). As I read the summary, I decided to rent the disc, since I do not see very much action in movies involving elevators (other than the movie "Speed"). As I became more familiar with the characters and as the movie progressed, my first impression was that some evil spirit was haunting the elevator. I was really biting my nails when those pregnant women were trying to get out of the elevator.

I later saw the blind man and his dog fall to their deaths in the shaft, the other get decapitated by the elevator, the skater going in and out of the elevator with the White Light (which made me believe some supernatural force was controlling the elevator), the little girl playing with the doors and WORSE - the many people that fell through the elevator's floor. You see, I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN TRAPPED in an elevator, and that's exactly what it makes you do - do Number One in your pants. It's a terrifying situation I would not recommend to any one.

I still believed it was demons at work until I viewed the scene where that German scientist and the MB's (Millennium Building) owner/manager had that secret meeting in their vehicles at a secret place. They were discussing the fact that the scientist needed to dismantle a mysterious invention that he had created to operate the elevators, since it was killing people. The elevator mechanic, journalist and that other guy were talking about this weird stuff earlier, which is supposed to be a biomechanism - which runs and operates like a machine of iron and steel, but thinks, feeds, grows and reproduces like a living thing (sounds almost like "Batteries Not Included", doesn't it?).

After observing all of this, I became more anxious to see what the heck was controlling those elevators. After, seeing the elevator mechanic go through several passageways, ups and downs, I finally got my answer as he opened that compartment and showed us that stationary "mechanical lifeform" with a lava-like glow. It was interesting to see him try to stab that thing to death (laugh). He goes through some more drama but manages to blow the thing away with a bazooka.

Overall, I gave this movie C+. It was good in bringing some elevator action to the table, which is rare, and the drama was excellent. The press conferences and investigations made it exciting also. However, biomechanics/biocomputers are LIGHT YEARS away from us right now, considering the fact that we don't even have have regular iron and steel computers with INDEPENDENT artificial intelligence, like HAL ("2001: A Space Odyssey"), JOSHUA ("WARGAMES") and SKYNET ("Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"). Besides, who would want a machine anyway that could possibly feel physical or emotional pain while doing all the hard and heavy work? Also, I would have been content with the City Mayor, not the United States President, to handle the problem with these elevators. (When that plane crashed in the Hudson several years back killing everyone on board, did the President even speak on that? No, just Mayor Guiliani.) However, something about the presence of the local SWAT teams made it real interesting though. Anyway, that's my opinion of the film for now. Goodbye.


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