Into the Dark: Down
Film: Into the Dark: Down
Director: Daniel Stamm
Writer: Kent Kubena
Starring: Natalie Martinez, Matt Lauria and Arnie Pantoja
This was a film I heard about from a different couple of sources. The first was through an interview on one of my favorite horror podcasts and the other is a fellow writer on a site I write for does reviews for these monthly. This horror anthology show on Hulu makes feature length films that coincide with the holiday that month. This one is for Valentine’s Day and they somewhat incorporate President’s Day as well with the long weekend. The synopsis is two coworkers find themselves stranded in an elevator over Valentine’s Day weekend.
We are introduced to two different workers in the same high rise building. One is Jennifer Robbins (Natalie Martinez). She is finishing up some work and we see her getting ready to e-mail what we assume is an ex. She wants to get back together and she is flying to New York City to see him. The other is Guy (Matt Lauria). He is using the bathroom and he gets water on his pants. The two them request an elevator and end up in the same one.
Guy starts to make small talk on their ride and he notices an odd drawing on the wall. It’s a stick figure stuck in a box and hitting the walls. The elevator then stops. Guy tries to hit the alarm and it doesn’t work. He also tries to call to the front desk, but no one is answering there.
The two of them are then forced to get to know each other as the time goes by. Jennifer is upset that she misses her flight and Guy does what he can to cheer her up. They end up getting to know each other really well. They soon then learn what is really going on and why they are stuck. It turns quite sinister with the truth.
Now I wanted to go a little bit vague with this to not spoil it. The first thing I want to say is I love the concept of this show, making feature length films around the holidays that are in that month. This one I think really does embody the spirit of Valentine’s Day and the idea of the weekend it is falling on being even longer with President’s Day makes it even better. It is actually quite terrifying though to be stuck in an elevator for 4 days.
This one definitely gets a bit more sinister than I was expecting and I was down for it. When things really start to ramp up, it gets fairly brutal which I wasn’t expecting. I do have to say that I was letdown that this one does really telegraph some things and I predicted the twist pretty early on. I didn’t hate the twist and I actually think it redeems itself to start the third act. There is actually some social commentary there that is relevant about ex-cons and in turn the justice system.
I do think that it is paced well. It has a short runtime, which is never an issue for me. I like the concept of what we have going on here. This actually is one of my fears and I’ve actually gotten stuck in an elevator before. Not nearly as long as these two, but still was for about 30 minutes. I think the tension really starts to ramp up as things get revealed which is definitely a good thing. I thought the ending was going to go real dark, which I would have loved. It didn’t go there, but the ending we do get though is very fitting for the film.
Since this is such a contained horror movie, the acting really has to carry it which I think it does. I really liked Martinez in her role. She is such a modern woman and I think that is good to see in this day and age. She really commands the screen. Some of things she goes through are rough too. She is also easy on the eyes, which never hurts. Lauria I thought was did such a good job. In the beginning, his quirkiness was getting on my nerves, but it makes a lot of sense why. The rest of the cast rounded out the film for what was needed as well.
To the effects of the film, they were great. I’m pretty everything was done practically and if there was any CGI, it was done so well I didn’t notice it. I’m especially glad they went with these types of effects because it really makes the film feel even more real for me. With how brutal it gets, it really made me enjoy it even more. The film is also shot very well in my opinion. It makes it feel so claustrophobic.
Now with that said, this is my first foray with Into the Dark and I’m not disappointed. I think the concept of this one is quite scary and incorporating the holidays was good as well. I think that the acting really carries this film, which it has to when you have a film contained like this. The only issue I had with the story is that it is a bit telegraphed and predictable at times. The editing was good to build tension, the effects were really solid and it was shot well. The soundtrack of the film didn’t stand out and it also didn’t hurt the film either. Overall I would say that this was a good movie and if this sounds good, give it a shot.
My Rating: 8 out of 10