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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Elevator Game (2023)

The minute I heard of it, my mind went immediately to the Shyamalan penned 'Devil', directed by John Dowdle, rolling my eyes at potentially another ninety minutes stuck in a lift with generally repellent humans. But no, this is the online viral phenomenon. A different tale altogether.

If you've heard of Creepypasta, then you probably know all about this already, the same way you've probably read the Russian Sleep Experiment, Slenderman or the one with the siren for a head.

How much of a relief this was remained to be seen, however. These rarely fare too well, if we're honest, but knowing the story beforehand made me hope for a perhaps more elevated (I'm very sorry) experience. This was Shudder, after all, who are becoming well renowned for this type of thing. How much of a let down could it be? (sorry, I'll stop that now)

Populated by lesser-known talent, the cast is not enviable - a collection of slightly too pretty American teens, probably convinced by 'the next Cabin in the Woods' pitched to them at the time. Nonetheless, I think we can safely say they have all found their respective level here.

Curiosity got the better of me, really, as I was interested just how close they came to the original true story of Elisa Lam and her untimely end at the Stay On Main hotel in a less than salubrious area of downtown Los Angeles in 2013.

Already thoroughly documented on screen by Netflix and the hotel's CCTV cameras, it was touted by them that do such things that Elisa was playing the Elevator Game just before her mysterious disappearance.

A couple of weeks later, her body was found in the water tank on the roof of the hotel, but only after guests had started to complain about the odd taste of the water in their rooms. How she got in there was a question the police were very uncomfortable being asked, fuelling the urban myth that strange unexplained things were indeed afoot, given that she would not have been strong enough to open the tank, even if she had managed to navigate several locked doors to gain access to it in the first place.

To say that Netflix did a much more thorough job is something of an understatement compared to this, which pays no homage to the alleged tale of Lam's game-playing on the night of her disappearance. Still, Netflix probably had a bigger budget. The plot is wafer thin, makes no sense, mostly devoid of scares and even when they do come, will probably not cause you to bat your wizened horror eyelids. I don't think it was supposed to make me laugh, but here we are.

As Adam Buxton was often heard to say - "nonsense, nonsense, nonsense."


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