Did this really happen? “The Shaft” (a.k.a. “Down”?) is the most absurd premise since “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.” Well, it actually came out nine years before “Birdemic” and managed to precede the recent trend of campy, absurd horror films. The truly disturbing part is the $15 million budget. There is no way that this film is intentionally bad. The special effects, while not the most impressive in the world, were obviously an investment. And what is Naomi Watts doing in this movie!?!?!? I realize that she really struggled to make it in Hollywood for a while and this did come out before “Mulholland Drive” boosted her career, but then what are Dan Hedaya and Ron Perlman doing in it? I truly believe that this was intended to be a serious film, so how did anybody think that this script was acceptable. The dialogue is simply horrible, both due to the way that it is delivered through poor acting and the dialogue itself. The premise is… well, this is a movie about a killer elevator. With artificial intelligence. And I don’t understand how anybody thought that this could be taken seriously: “Now we’ve spent years establishing the fact that elevators are one of the safest modes of transportation. We have to! We live in a vertical world! If we can’t trust elevators, what the [expletive] can we trust?” I don't think that this far-fetched film will be scaring anybody away from riding elevators. It has more elevator deaths than any other movie ever made, but their creativity is combated by overacting. Proceed with caution if you elect to endure “The Shaft.” It is fun to watch if you enjoy watching entertainingly bad films - I'll give it an extra star for unintentional comedic value - but you may want to drop your expectations before seeing it.
[Pictured: Nothing like a killer elevator that has a mind of its own...]