Down (The Shaft) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Down (The Shaft) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2007
Just watched this. Naomi Watts actually didnt do too bad for a B movie flick and shows some of the stuff that will eventually land her the bigger roles later. A fun horror flick if such a thing exists. Not great not horrid. Just there.
RCCLBC
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2008
Don't let the cast of (fiarly well known) character actors and (future) big name stars, fool you.

This film is a complete insult from beginning to end. Everything from the ridiculous premis, bad writing, sub-par acting to the use of every cheesy character profile and trite plot "twist" ever seen on film..is a little insulting.

Naomi Watts and Ron Perlman should thank their lucky stars that this didn't end up being the "career breaker" that it should have been.

I almost want people to see it so they will know JUST how bad it really is! I guess it's human nature? Kind of like when you taste something bad and say to your friend "OH!....taste this...it's horrible!
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2011
A very good horror flick with an interesting plot.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2009
It's an absolute disaster of a film, I mean an elevator that KILLS people . . . BUT I'd still tell you to see it with a large group of people to mock it. It definitely falls into the "so bad its hilarious" category. The fact that Dan Hedaya's first line of the film is "I hate elevators" is fucking gold. But it is still a shit movie.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2009
Really bad. Really, really bad. Almost as bad as Naomi Watt's Noo Yawk accent. This movie will give YOU the shaft.
February 25, 2015
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?" 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.
½ May 30, 2012
Just watched this. Naomi Watts actually didnt do too bad for a B movie flick and shows some of the stuff that will eventually land her the bigger roles later. A fun horror flick if such a thing exists. Not great not horrid. Just there.
½ August 31, 2010
This is just hilariously bad. I was laughing on the floor it's so bad. I saw in the description on TV "this creepy direct-to-video thriller" and couldn't resist. The plot is about a living elevator that's killing people. Is this supposed to be frightening? By the end of the movie I wouldn't have cared if the elevator killed everyone. Actually that would have been fantastic. It would have been way more entertaining than the lame ending we get instead.
August 16, 2010
Oh, there's a shaft in this warp-speed direct-to-disc production all right - - and the viewer gets it.

The elevator unexplainably starts and stops. And the buttons don't work. Ooooh, creepy. Fifteen minutes of vapid subplot filler. The elevator gets stuck with a group of pregnant women on board for a few minutes. Ooooh, creepy. Ten minutes of vapid subplot filler. When the doors open and there's no elevator there, a blind man steps right on up and falls to his doom. Ooooh, creepy. Ten more minutes of - - oh, well, you get the idea.

Eventually, believe or not, the President of the United States declares a national emergency and cordons off the area. Pseudo-investigative reporter Watts discovers - get this - the elevator's computer chips are made using human brain cells. Some gooey elevator ectoplasm is found.

Then when our unlikely and ill-equipped hero, the lonely elevator repairman, starts messing with the goo, the elevator gets really, really mad. Sheeesh.

The director - who was actually here rehashing his own earlier UK film "The Lift" to snag an easy paycheck - knew this stinker was DOA from the get-go, so he didn't even bother to inject any spooky score, fear-mongering SFX or elevator anthropomorphism.

Sometimes B-films are good for some campy fun - but this clunker can't even stake that claim. Don't let the marquee names bait you; even Naomi Watts completists won't miss a beat if they pass this one by.

Even so, I do appreciate Sci-Fi Channel's running this one at 3am, that being a valiant attempt to relieve me of my constant insomnia. If only it had worked.

RECOMMENDATION: Take the stairs and get out of the building. Now.
½ January 23, 2010
Not the worst movie I've ever seen. But producers can do better than killer elevators. Pretty boring throughout, all you want to watch is the end.
April 30, 2008
Really good movie. Kinda freaky too. Thought it looked so funny when the guy flew out of the elevator. Elevator working on actual parts of a body. Crazy stuff right there.
April 7, 2008
Monster was disappointing. It was all electrical wires covered in what looked like pink bubblegum. The rest of the movie was fine.
½ February 12, 2007
Wow! Insensitive, racist, terrible sound, AND a complete lack of "special" in the effects? Thanks for sucking, movie!
October 7, 2005
The Shaft
Starring: James Marshall, Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, and Michael Ironsides
Director: Dick Maas


The express elevators in New York City's famous Millenium Building suddenly seem to develop minds of their own... and they are minds bent on murder! Will a slacker ex-Marine hunk turned elevator repairman (James Marshall) and a sexy, plucky girl tabloid reporter (over-acted by Naomi Watts) uncover the truth of what's happening, or will they fall victim to elevator industry cover-ups, mad scientists delving in Elevator Technology Man Was Not Meant to Know, and renegade killer elevators?

This often unintentionally funny horror movie features a script that should have gone through a draft or two more; copious overacting (everyone is SO over the top here that Michael Ironsides--featured in a small but pivotal part--seems subdued and restrained); and too many 'because the plot requires it' moments to count. There's enough interesting things here to keep the viewer's attention, but ultimately the movie is unsatisfying and lame, mostly because it has the killer elevators perform truly amazing and physically impossible feats without even bothering to attempt to explain how they manage to do it. (Sadly, one of my favorite killer elevator scenes is tied into one of these... the death of the obnoxious rollerblader. Yeah, sure... the building's express elevators have developed a mind of their own through the wonders of mad science, but how does that let them completely ignore the laws of physics?)

A fun film, if you can get it cheap or for free... and if you have absolutely nothing to do, or nothing better to watch.
February 25, 2015
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?" 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.
September 16, 2013
Millennium building elevator starts killing people.
½ May 14, 2013
Not the worst movie I've ever seen. But producers can do better than killer elevators. Pretty boring throughout, all you want to watch is the end.
February 24, 2013
This is a porn movie in the making.
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