Lift movie review: Kavin’s film about possessed elevator is average attempt at horror
Kavin’s Lift, which has released directly on Disney + Hotstar, is one of those horror movies you don’t mind at first. With its promising premise about a haunted lift, it tries leap past the low expectations set by Tamil cinema in the genre. It begins strong, presenting itself as a unique horror film, deviating from the cliches associated with horror movies. Unfortunately, the film derails after just half-an-hour and gets repetitive in terms of generating thrills and ends on a very predictable note.
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The story introduces us to Guru (Kavin), an IT professional, who has just been transferred from Bangalore to Chennai. It’s his first day at work and he spends most of the day getting to know his colleagues. When he meets Harini, the company's HR manager (Amritha), we are told they share an unpleasant past. Towards the end of the day, Guru is handed over the responsibility of completing a project summary for a client and stays back to complete the task. However, when he gets ready to leave, he experiences some paranormal events. When he gets into the lift to go down to the parking lot, he realises he keeps coming back to the same floor. The rest of the film is about finding out the reasons behind these weird events.
Lift relies mostly on jump scares, the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making horror films. It spends a lot of time building up the a big reveal, but it is never impressive or horrifying enough. The backstory about the IT work culture and its challenges could’ve made a better core for the story than the haunted lift.
One of the highlights of the film is its single location setting. Since the entire film takes place inside a building and mostly inside a lift, the film succeeds in creating a sense of claustrophobia for the viewers. Another highlight is Kavin’s convincing performance. As the helpless guy trying to protect himself from the paranormal, he brings out the fear quite effectively. Amritha Iyer is equally good in the limited screen time she gets.
Lift could’ve been a trendsetter in the horror genre. Unfortunately, there is little to praise.
Director: Vineeth Varaprasad
Cast: Kavin, Amritha Iyer