The synopsis of this film piqued my interest immediately. The film itself however bored and annoyed me immediately. Make no mistake, Hellevator is an absolute wreck of movie.
Firstly, the entire thing looks and feels cheap, the set design unconvincing and fake (the elevators controls are the only things that look like some attention was given). This quickly shatters any chance of being immersed in Hellevators admittedly intriguing world. If a movie as technically polished as Monsters can be made on a shoestring budget by seven people with a van and a camera then Hellevator has no excuse (I get thats quite a sweeping statement but it makes you wonder how Hellevator manages to look so raggedy).
The characters that fill this elevator based adventure yoyo between stilted dummies and painfully over the top, hamming up every line before returning to complete disinterest. The later hysterics of the researcher character seem almost drug induced and the shrieking and whooping of the short prisoner flays the nerves every time he opens his mouth.
The plot, such as it, does little to draw you in to these characters or their backstories. Flashbacks show some insight into the central characters past but you really wont care as both her and her present situation are so dull.
To top everything off, the whole sorry affair is peppered with pointless visual effects, silly camera work and other surreal shots which, rather than enhance the film in any way, simply make it look pretentious as well as amateurish.
While the film has several nice touches, such as the ending (which is neat if not surprising) and the function of the hellavator itself, it essentially feels like a good idea being yelled at you by an idiot. While the concept of Hellevator is solid, whatever vision the director set out with is ultimately lost, and in its place is just a terrible film.
And please remember, just because its a Japanese film doesnt give it an automatic mark of quality. They can churn out rubbish just like everyone else.