73 user 41 critic

The Shaft (2001)

Down (original title)
When the elevators in New York's 102-story Millennium Building start to malfunction, mechanic Mark Newman is sent to find the cause. After a series of gruesome and deadly "accidents" occur, Mark joins forces with spunky reporter Jennifer.


Dick Maas


Dick Maas





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marshall ... Mark Newman
Naomi Watts ... Jennifer Evans
Eric Thal ... Jeffrey
Michael Ironside ... Gunter Steinberg
Edward Herrmann ... Milligan
Dan Hedaya ... Lt. McBain
Ron Perlman ... Mitchell
Kathryn Meisle ... Mildred
Martin McDougall ... Security Guard Andy
John Cariani ... Security Guard Gary
David Gwillim ... Blind Man (Mr Faith)
Peter Banks ... Maintenance Chief
William Vanderpuye William Vanderpuye ... Murphy (as Will Vanderpuye)
Wilke Durand Wilke Durand ... Kowalski's Wife
Todd Boyce ... ESU Captain


When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic Mark Newman is sent out to find the cause of the problems. His investigation meets unexpected resistance and not everybody seems to be happy with his involvement. After a gruesome and deadly incident, in which a blind man falls into the shaft and a security guard is decapitated, the police start an investigation. They are however not very successful. Mark is determined to find the cause. He is joined by a female reporter, Jennifer, who is looking for a juicy story. Together they try to unravel the secrets behind the mysterious behaviour of the elevator that seems to have a life of it's own. When things get worse and death toll rises, The Government, fearing terrorists are involved, seal off the building. What at first looked like a routine job turns into a horrifying nightmare in which Mark has to face an enemy whose blood ... Written by FFF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


US remake of the 1983 film, The Lift, which was also written and directed by Dick Maas. See more »


Mitchell: We live in a vertical world. If you can't trust the elevators, what the fuck *can* you trust?
See more »


Referenced in The Dog Lies Buried (2018) See more »


She's Not There
Written by Rod Argent
Performed by The Zombies
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

A Mess by Maas
5 May 2006 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In New York, the express elevator of the 102 floors and 73 elevators Millennium Building has malfunction with some pregnant passengers and the company responsible for its maintenance sends two mechanics, Mark Newman (James Marshall) and Jeffrey (Eric Thal), to survey the equipment and the installation. They do not find any problem in their investigation, and the building is reopened to visitors. Later, the elevator provokes the death of a security guard and a blind man with his dog. The snoopy journalist of a tabloid Jennifer Evans (Naomi Watts) joins Mark to investigate the elevator, and they find that the equipment might be subjected to an experiment with biochip by the German scientist Gunter Steinberg (Michael Ironside).

This DVD has just been released in Brazil (today, I guess) with an attractive tridimensional cover with a picture of Naomi Watts, and I bought it without any previous reference. "Down" is indeed a mess by Maas. This unknown Dutch director / writer wrote a story that tries to be funny; begins as if it were a horror, thriller or mystery movie; then, it seems to be a sci-fi but suddenly it becomes an action movie, with soldiers, policemen and lots of guns and explosions; ending with a romance between the characters of James Marshall and Naomi Watts. The dyed actress is very weird, with grimaces. The movie has a reasonable cast and budget, but never works. In the end, the best thing in this flick is the Aerosmith's song "Love in an Elevator". My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "O Elevador da Morte" ("The Elevator of Death")

7 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



USA | Netherlands



Release Date:

6 September 2001 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shaft See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed