ELEVATOR GAME (2023) 17 reviews of supernatural horror on Shudder

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‘Some doors should never be opened’
Elevator Game
is a 2023 American horror film based on the online phenomenon in which players attempt to travel to another dimension.

Directed by Rebekah McKendry from a screenplay written by Travis Seppala with additional writing by David Ian McKendry. Produced by Stefan Brunner, Ed Elbert, Liz Jarvis and James Norrie.

The Fearworks-Buffalo Gal Pictures-Head Gear Films-Manitoba Film & Music-Metrol Technology co-production stars Gino Anania, Megan Best, Adam Hurtig, Verity Marks, Madison MacIsaac, Hazel Wallace, Nazariy Demkowicz, Bradley Sawatzky, Alec Carlos, Liam Stewart-Kanigan, Darren Wall and Samantha Halas.

Socially awkward teenager Ryan (Gino Anania) ingratiates himself into a group of recent high school graduates that run an online web series debunking urban legends. But Ryan has a secret: His sister disappeared months earlier, and he believes they and a dangerous online challenge called The Elevator Game were responsible.

To play the game, you must ride the elevator in a specific sequence, invoking a supernatural creature called The 5th Floor Woman. In an attempt to gain more information as to the whereabouts of his sister, Ryan persuades the group to play the game once more, and risk unleashing the most fearsome consequences imaginable…

“The movie limps along with its razor-thin premise and underdeveloped, static characters. The movie struggled to earn and keep my attention and the high stakes and life or death scenarios the characters face was met with my hollow disinterest and even a disdain for most of the characters […] Avoid Elevator Game and go play Scrabble in an abandoned stairwell. Cinefied

” …Elevator Game is also pretty sluggish, despite its relatively short runtime. Plodding through an endless string of dull shot/reverse shots between the quarrelling vloggers, the film finally reaches the dreaded fifth floor, but the payoff is tame and bloodless. With a bit with red lighting and a few jumpscares, this much-discussed other realm – and consequently the movie as a whole – are, ultimately, hardly worth the fuss.” ★★ The Guardian

“It had me at first, it really did. Unfortunately, it just couldn’t keep that solid hold it had at first. Not for me anyway. However, I can definitely recognize that it has a solid horror vibe going on and I think it will entertain many horror fans. Maybe even wow some, but not everyone.” ★★ Heaven of Horror

“There’s an effective backstory explaining the origins of the 5th Floor Lady and an occasionally impressive use of shadow. But McKendry’s network TV-style staging and drama leach all tension from the story. Not one actor convinces as a high school student, nor do most of them convince as long-term best friends or even as frightened prey.” ★★½ Maddwolf

“The obvious routine mostly undoes it, and the rest of it is the generally obnoxious or bland characters, the silly and/or undercooked mythology, and the inconsistency of the killer ghost’s methods […] That the mostly obscured phantom just looks like a young woman going through a goth phase doesn’t help matters, but then again, not much about the predictable, accidentally goofy Elevator Game helps it in any way.” ★ Mark Reviews Movies

“Perhaps the biggest issue with Elevator Game is that it can’t quite pin down its own mythology. There seems to be no rhyme or reason regarding the outcome of the titular game. Why do some survive it but not others? A closing jump scare is shoehorned for the sake of setting up a potential sequel, but it’s a case of the movie completely ignoring its own poorly conveyed rules.” ★★ The Movie Waffler

“As the final credits roll, the open-ended feel might leave audiences stuck between excitement for potential sequels and a craving for clarity Throughout, McKendry’s flair for horror is undeniable. Her adept intertwining of archaic fears with modern-day digital tales delivers a cinematic experience that resonates with tech-savvy audiences and those just seeking a good old scare.” ★★★ Overly Honest Movie Reviews

” …this script could’ve used a bit more polish – its world-building never quite rises to the required heights here, and I’m left wondering what all the fuss was about. The fact that it ends with nothing more than the promise of a sequel also cheapens the thrill, making this one feel a bit too much like a cash grab for whatever spectators are willing to give it a whirl.” Sci-Fi History

“Overall, Elevator Game is a fun ride with a few chilling and nerve-jangling moments. It doesn’t quite build up the Red World enough to make it feel all that threatening, but there is some good characterization here and a young ensemble cast that uplifts the film.” Signal Horizon

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