I watched Down without realizing that it was part of anthology series initially. Hulu didn’t have it listed as part of a series so I went in with no prior knowledge. Since it is an anthology however, I feel good about reviewing it as a standalone film. How I felt about it could help me decide if I care to check out the rest of the series.
(This actually is hilarious now that I remember the movie takes place on an elevator.. Ok back to the topic.) Down is a movie that does a good job of not being cheesy or making you question its characters decisions often. The shifting power dynamic between the two main characters is what stood out the most. I definitely enjoyed this one.
*Light spoilers below*
What it’s about
As mentioned above, Down is part of a Blumhouse television anthology series. The series is set to be 12 films in total and this one is the 5th in the series. Set on a long holiday weekend (this past weekend with Valentine’s Day and then President’s day back to back) two employees working out of the same building get trapped on an elevator together.
Initially it’s awkward. Two people who have worked late and clearly have places to be making small talk as they ride down 40+ floors to their vehicles. When the elevator stops this dynamic doesn’t initially change because they are still strangers stuck in a small box together and, as far as they know, this will only be a slight delay. As time passes they become more and more comfortable with each other, small talk gets bigger and before you know it they’re enjoying each other’s company.
It’s Valentine’s weekend so romance was already in the air, they’re both attractive people and flirtation turns into more. That’s when things change.
Suddenly, when his feelings are not reciprocated the tone of the film changes and the horror story begins.
I really summed it up in my Elevator review but I enjoyed almost every aspect of this movie. I enjoyed the amount of time that was spent building chemistry between the two leads. Coming from a position where I didn’t know much about the movie going in, the first half of the movie plays like a rom-com and actually made me think a rom-com with that same initial setup could be amazing.
When the twist comes it makes sense with everything we’ve seen up to this point and the reaction is appropriate. There are maybe two or three decisions by the two main characters that you’ll find questionable but they’re still well within the realm of acceptability and don’t kill the movie. It does become more of a basic thriller near the end but by then you’re already invested.
After letting this one marinate, I may have to check out a few of the other films in the “Into the Dark” series on Hulu. The films are all holiday themed as the other titles feature Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s themed plots. One can assume the March entry will have a St. Patrick’s Day theme and April’s looks to be April Fool’s Day related.