The Lift (1983) Blue Underground Blu Ray Review


A lift begins displaying some erratic behavior, like trapping some party goers and nearly suffocating them, and decapitating a security guard. Felix, the technician from the lift company, can’t find anything wrong with the circuitry. When he and a nosy reporter begin asking questions of the lift company’s electronics partner (Rising Sun Electronics) his boss puts him on a leave of absence. A subsequent visit to a professor leads them to believe that some evil experiments are being conducted with MICROCHIPS.


Something hinky is going on with the elevators at an office complex in Holland. Folks riding in them pass out of asphyxiation, while security guards are getting decapitated by them. Other weird occurrences include men falling down the elevator shafts to their deaths or strange, eerie games they play with children. The manager of the building calls in a repairman (played by Huub Stapel) to investigate, and while he can see nothing wrong on the surface, he begins to suspect that there’s a conspiracy going on with the manufacturing company of the elevators. An intrepid lady reporter (played by Willeke van Ammelrooy) joins the repairman in a bizarre quest to find out just what’s going on with the killer lift, and what they find is that the microchips controlling the lifts have metastasized into some kind of sentient organism intent on killing whomever it pleases!

A true, leftfield original in the horror genre, The Lift has a weird, appealing mojo going for it with its odd atmosphere, lighting and electronic score. The kills aren’t very graphic (except the beheading), but I liked the build-up and mystery of the whole thing. It felt like an episode of The X-Files or Fringe, and fans of Scandinavian horror (it’s a small field, but some good stuff is available) will enjoy it. From writer / director/ composer Dick Maas, who later remade his own movie for English as Down.

Specialty genre label Blue Underground is about to release both The Lift and Down onto pristine blu ray / DVD combo packs. Remastered in 2K, The Lift has never looked this good. Previously unavailable on DVD, it languished for years in an out of print VHS, so this is the perfect time to get acquainted with it. Special features include an audio commentary by Maas, an interview with the star, and a short film from Maas, as well as trailers and stills, and an insert booklet with notes by Chris Alexander.