Written by Marc Rosenberg
Directed by Stig Svendson
Martin Gossling...Devin Ratray
Don Handley...Christopher Backus
Henry Barton...John Getz
George Axelrod...Joey Slotnick
It's like a low rent Real World when 9 people are picked to live in an elevator to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real. On their way to a penthouse party, a ragtag group of investors, stock marketers, and assorted other professionals find themselves trapped between the 48th and 49th floors. Bad enough, but the real kicker is that one of them is strapped with a ticking time bomb. Uh-oh.
Which one and why? That would appear to be the question that the movie is all about, like a less supernatural version of Devil. However, the answers to those two questions are given approximately 35 minutes in, and the new question becomes "What are eight people willing to do to survive?"
The Real World joke at the beginning of this review was admittedly pretty stupid, but that doesn't make it any less apt. As they stare death in the face and start fighting back, everyone drops their everyday facades and their true character shines through. Big surprise, what they hide isn't always pleasant.
Despite the limited set, there's a good deal of tension and even some action. The acting was solid on all fronts, and the pacing wavered only slightly (there was a "reveal" scene that was drawn out into absurdity about a third of the way through). There are scenes that will have you gasping, grimacing, and squirming in your seats. My only qualm is that there was no follow-up regarding the interconnecting relationships of these characters at the end of the story. I suppose we have to hope for the best, expect the worst.
A genuinely claustrophobic and entertaining thriller with a great payoff. Give it a watch.
Special thanks to INCEPTION MEDIA GROUP for the screener.
"Liars go straight to hell!"