Down (also known as The Shaft) is a 2001 science fiction horror film written and directed by Dick Maas about a killer elevator in New York, starring James Marshall and Naomi Watts.

The film is a remake of the 1983 Dutch film De Lift (The Lift), which was also directed by Maas.

Plot Edit

When the express elevators in the Millennium Building in New York start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic from the company Meteor Elevators, who installed them, Mark Newman, who is also a former marine, is sent out to find the cause of the problems.

Later people also begin to die in a mysterious way. Because of that, the police start an investigation, but are not very successful. Mark, however, is determined to find the cause, especially when he realises by watching videotapes that one of them died in an extreme strange way and is joined by a female reporter, Jennifer, who showed him those tapes and who is also obsessively looking for a story. His investigation suddenly meets with unexpected resistance and not everybody seems to be happy with his involvement. 

Later a friend of his, Jeffrey, who is also responsible for the elevator, also ends up dead there. The company makes him a scapegoat for the events, since he had to do with the elevators, with a series of lies that describe him as an insane man who caused these events and who died trying another stunt, while the policemen, anxious to close the case, believe this version.   

Because of this Jerry makes this personal. He is aware that a partner of Jeffrey´s who also worked at the elevator ended mysteriously dead and begins to fully investigate everything with Jennifer. When things get even worse and a lot of people are massacred at once by one of the elevators, the government, fearing the involvement of terrorists in this matter, seal off the building.  

In the meantime Mark and Jennifer discover that the computer who is controlling the elevators is the problem behind the mysterious horrible events. It was illegally placed there by a computer expert called Günter Steinberg, who also controls Meteor Elevators as part of an illegal experiment regarding future computers which was forbidden because of its unpredictability. It has become alive and now it has gone out of control. It also comes out both mechanics had died, because they were sent by him to stop it, which ended in their failure and death. To hide this fact, which would have been disastrous, all of this was correspondingly covered up.  

Now both of them have to deal with it while also having to deal with Steinberg and the government who does not know what is going on. Finally, after the confrontation reaches its peak inside the building, Mark and Jennifer manage to destroy the computer, which is in the shaft, with a rocket launcher.

During this fight Steinberg, who wanted to prevent that in his obsession regarding his computer, is killed by his own creation and the authorities, after that, finally aware of what was going on, let them both go after these events. Later Mark decides to quit his job after everything that happened and begins a romantic relationship with Jennifer, who has been promoted in her job because of her work.

List of deaths Edit

No. Name Cause of Death Killer On-Screen Notes
1. Jerry Kowalski Killed Biocomputer (Elevator) No It happened before the events
2-3.. Blind Man and dog Fell into the shaft Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes
4. Security guard Decapitated Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes
5. Skater Fell from the top of the skyscraper Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes Sucked into the shaft and then thrown out at the top of the skyscraper to his death
6. Jeffrey Thrown into the shaft Biocomputer (Elevator) No
7-23. 16 tourists Thrown into the shaft Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes Elevator went to the top with tremendous speed which broke its floor
24. Policeman Body cut in half Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes
25. Günter Steinberg Strangled with the cables of the destroyed elevator Biocomputer (Elevator) Yes
26. Biocomputer Destroyed with a rocket launcher Mark Newman Yes

Cast Edit

  • James Marshall as Mark Newman
  • Naomi Watts as Jennifer Evans
  • Eric Thal as Jeffrey
  • Michael Ironside as Günter Steinberg
  • Edward Herrmann as Milligan
  • Dan Hedaya as Lt. Mc Bain
  • Ron Perlman as Mitchell

External links Edit

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