The Movie Waffler New Release Review - ELEVATOR GAME | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - ELEVATOR GAME

Elevator Game review
A team of YouTubers attempt to debunk a terrifying urban legend.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Rebekah McKendry

Starring: Gino Anania, Verity Marks, Alec Carlos, Madison MacIsaac, Liam Stewart-Kanigan, Nazariy Demkowicz, Megan Best

Elevator Game poster

Director Rebekah McKendry's Elevator Game is inspired by a Korean urban legend of the same name. Players of the "Elevator Game" are required to enter a supposedly haunted elevator at 3am and punch in a specific pattern of floor selections. On the fifth floor you must close your eyes and avoid making contact with "The Fifth Floor Woman," a spook who enters the lift at that point. Finally, you press the first floor. Most players will simply be taken to the first floor, but an unlucky few are said to be brought to another dimension.

Sounds like a pretty good starting point for some Asian horror influenced thrills, right? McKendry's film does start off promisingly as we watch one unfortunate player of the Elevator Game, a teen named Becki (Megan Best), fall foul of The Fifth Floor Woman in a prologue whose tension the movie sadly never replicates.

Elevator Game review

Desperate for answers to her disappearance, Becky's older brother Ryan (Gino Anania) joins a crew of young YouTubers whose channel is dedicated to debunking urban legends and paranormal lore. This thinly sketched lot are your classic bunch of bad horror movie protagonists and are basically a b-grade Mystery Inc. There's a brainy Velma type in Chloe (Verity Marks); Kris (Alec Carlos), a Fred-esque jock; a Shaggy type cameraman in Matty (Nazariy Demkowicz); and a dizzy blonde Velma in Izzy (Madison MacIsaac).

Ryan's suggestion that the Elevator Game become the subject of their next episode is quickly shot down until the crew's sponsor threatens to pull out if they don’t get something online in the next couple of days. Sneaking into the office block where Becki disappeared, they begin to document their experience of the Elevator Game.

Elevator Game review

At one point a dismissive Kris suggests that there's no way to make riding an elevator visually interesting. Despite McKendry's best efforts, he's ultimately proven right. Much of the film features various characters playing the game, leaving us to watch as the elevator goes up, goes down, goes back up…it's not exactly riveting horror filmmaking.

The kills are uninspired and hindered by some second rate CG, and it doesn't help that none of the characters are three dimensional enough for us to become invested in their fates. They're simply fodder for the Fifth Floor Woman, who is revealed to be yet another lank-haired brunette from the J-horror template (are none of these spooks blonde?).

Elevator Game review

Perhaps the biggest issue with Elevator Game is that it can't quite pin down its own mythology. There seems to be no rhyme or reason regarding the outcome of the titular game. Why do some survive it but not others?

A closing jump scare is shoehorned for the sake of setting up a potential sequel, but it's a case of the movie completely ignoring its own poorly conveyed rules. I doubt too many will be clamouring for a followup, as despite its theme, this first entry is far from elevated horror.

Elevator Game
 is on Shudder from September 15th.

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