One of the scariest truths of the present times is how corporates exploit the young talented minds using them as a product. Several instances in the past have openly revealed the suffocating culture immensely pressuring the youngsters, but they still have to be there with no other choice.
Lift, directed by the debutant Vineeth Varaprasad, exploits this basic thought as a horror movie revolving around a haunted lift and the office of a corporate firm. The film’s best part is that it isn’t the usual horror fare, which largely relies upon scary faces and jump-cuts accompanied by a screechy background score. Its novel premise of a haunted corporate office brings in the much-required freshness, and the unique feature remains its major driving force throughout.
However, it still doesn’t turn out to be a highly satisfying horror movie in the end, as it spends too much time repeating similar sequences in a more than two-hour-long duration. The film, which should have had a different shorter edit, also wastes around 25 minutes initially, focusing on the romance, offering nothing exciting related to the specific genre.
Narrating the story of two newly appointed professionals, an IT team leader (Kavin) and the HR manager (Amritha), Lift brings in the scary moments when the couple gets chased by the ghost across the floors. But it rarely delivers the entertainment expected from a good horror film because of the repetitive situations. Plus, the suspense of the actual happenings gets revealed too late into the narrative, affecting its overall impact.
Having said that, Lift certainly deserves some praise for at least pointing towards the toxic work culture of the corporate offices, appointing and discarding employees as ‘use and throw’ commodities without caring about them as humans. While a particular scene commenting upon the irregular timings says it all, the final 20 minutes also showcase how credits get taken away, firing the talented employees.
Lift manages to be an average horror film with decent lead performances, strongly reminding you of two much superior World cinema ventures dealing with a similar premise. The lift angle is quite close to Devil (2010), written and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and the office sequences are similar to the South Korean film Office (2015) directed by Hong Won-chan. In all, Lift can surely be seen for its fresh concept and important social message but without expecting a lot as a horror film.
Title: Lift (Tamil)
Cast: Kavin, Amritha Aiyer, Kiran Konda
Rating: 2.5 stars
Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar
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