Plot: As an extended holiday weekend awaits, the workers at an office building have mostly headed home, but a few are running late. This includes Jennifer (Natalie Martinez), a young woman who plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day by traveling to see her estranged ex, who she wants to rekindle with. She has a bottle of wine and is determined to find that spark again, so she is excited to leave work behind. Jennifer winds up on an elevator ride with Guy (Matt Lauria), who doesn’t quite have such grand plans, but seems content with his situation. The two engage in some small talk, but things take a sudden turn when the elevator makes an emergency stop and since no one is left in the building, there seems to be no help at hand. With the long weekend ahead, the two worry they will be left in the elevator until the office workers return, which means they could be stuck there for days. As time passes, the two get to know each other, but what caused the elevator to stall and was it just an equipment malfunction or is there some darker purpose involved?
Entertainment Value: I had more fun with Down than most critics, but I suspect that is because the movie has some Lifetime thriller vibes, so I appreciated the dialed up drama and emotional dysfunction. The narrative is simple at first, but soon begins to unravel into nearly total nonsense and loses the decent atmosphere it had built up. This is likely because this premise runs of steam about halfway through, then tries to fill time with various twists and character development that don’t make sense and do little to keep the viewers entertained. So yes, Down falls apart toward the finale, but I think the rampant emotional outbursts, ridiculous narrative choices, and over the top performances still deliver some fun. I have to think that while this is marketed as a horror movie, even by Blumhouse’s standards, there is little in terms of horror vibes, feeling more like a Lifetime thriller than a slasher movie. So if you want scares, Down won’t deliver on that front. The cast is small, but our leads are fun to watch, with Natalie Martinez as a wildly inconsistent woman with little emotional control and Matt Lauria as her beyond over the top coworker. This is tuned up melodrama, with emotional chaos and super questionable character decisions, which is likely to alienate some, but again, I loved the emotional dysfunction here. This one is hard to recommend to horror fans, but those who have a soft spot for wild melodrama and dysfunction might be able to have some fun with this outlandish thriller.
This one has a couple of instances of bare man ass, but otherwise there’s no naked flesh on showcase. There is one hilarious, totally nonsensical sex scene, but it is tame and refuses to reveal the goods. This is a Blumhouse production however, so a lack of graphic elements is to be expected. There’s some bloodshed in Down, but it isn’t graphic or over the top in the least. As the narrative takes darker turns, some violence is unleashed and this leads to fight related cuts, abrasions, and wounds of various degrees, again none of which is even close to gore level crimson. As the movie centers on an elevator, there is of course someone who winds up crunched in the doors, but it is more implied and little is shown on screen. So there’s some blood and frequent violence in the second half, but nothing that resembles horror movie style gore and guts. The dialogue is fun at times, with some creepy stalker talk, emotional outbursts, and general dysfunction, but these are a small portion of the script, sadly. In terms of craziness, Lauria is wild as the crazed stalker and the convoluted narrative provides some ridiculous moments, but overall this one sticks with well worn ground.
Overall Insanity: 2/10