Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 9th, 2017
BluRay released: October 31st, 2017
Approximate running time: 99 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Dutch, DTS-HD Stereo Dutch, DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free / Region Free NTSC
Retail Price: $39.98
“There is something very wrong with the elevator in a stylish office high-rise. The passengers never end up on the floor of their choice. They end up dead! When Felix, an inquisitive repairman, investigates the faulty deathtrap, he discovers that something other than malfunctioning machinery is to blame. Some dark, distorted power has gained control of the elevator for its own evil design. After his horrifying discovery is given the shaft by the authorities, he joins a nosy female journalist to battle the unholy force inside THE LIFT! “ – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
The Lift was written and directed by Dick Maas whose other notable films include, Amsterdamned and Flodder. The score for The Lift was also composed by Dick Maas.
The narrative does a great job balancing the more melodramatic moments and gore set pieces. With this film’s most surprising asset being the way in which it incorporates humor into the story at hand.
The performances are best described as efficient. With this film’s strongest performance being Huub Stapel in the role of Felix Adelaar, the elevator repairman, who reluctantly becomes the hero. Another performance of note is Willeke van Ammelrooy in the role of Mieke de Beer, an investigative reporter, who helps Felix in his quest for the truth.
Without a doubt this film greatest assets are its visuals. And nowhere is this more evident, then when it comes to the scenes where the elevator wreaks havoc. Standout moments visually include, a scene where a security guard is decapitated by the elevator and a scene where the elevator tries to lure a young girl with a doll into its death trap.
The Lift comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was sourced from a brand-new 2K restoration from the original Dutch negative, approved by Dick Maas. Image clarity remains solid throughout, colors are nicely saturated, contrast and black levels are consistent strong, grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Dutch, a DTS-HD stereo mix in Dutch and a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. All of the audio mixes sound excellent. Dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Range wise all of the audio mixes sound appropriately robust when they need too and the more ambient aspects are well represented. Included with this release are three subtitle options, English, English SDH and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a poster & still gallery, a Dutch language trailer for the film (3 minutes 30 seconds, in Dutch with English subtitles), the U.S. theatrical release trailer for the film (1 minute 39 seconds), a short film directed by Dick Maas titled Long Distance (4 minutes 13 seconds, in Dutch with English subtitles), an interview with actor Huub Stapel titled Going Up (9 minutes 9 seconds, in Dutch with English subtitles) and an audio commentary with screenwriter / director Dick Maas, editor Hans van Dongen and moderator David Gregory.
Topics discussed in the interview with Huub Stapel include, his origins as an actor, The Lift and how it was his first theatrical lead as an actor, Dick Maas, special effects, key moments, audience reaction to the film, Flodder and background information about films he worked on after The Lift.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, how films like Jaws influenced The Lift, locations, The Lift and how it differs from Down (a remake of The Lift), the visuals, Huub Stapel, producer Matthijs van Heijningen, editing the film, Canne film festival, how the film was very successful theatrically in Holland, the score and production related topics.
Rounding out the extras is a twenty-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Evil Elevators and Unsung Auteurs: Looking Closely at The Life written by Christopher Alexander. Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Lift gets a definitive release from Blue Underground, highly recommended.