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Elevated is a gripping short horror movie that combines elements of science fiction, suspense, and psychological drama into a narrative that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Released in 1996, the film features stellar performances from a diverse set of actors including Vickie Papavs, Bruce McFee, and David Hewlett.

Directed by Vincenzo Natali, Elevated begins on an ordinary day in an ordinary setting: a downtown high-rise building in a bustling city. However, the bland normality of the scene is soon interrupted when the film's primary focus, a young woman named Helen (Vickie Papavs), enters to encounter a believably terrifying situation. The suspense intensifies as she nervously waits for an elevator in the lobby, sensing that something is not right.

While Helen appears to be a typical city woman, her character has a complexity that draws audiences in and engages them from the get-go. Vickie Papavs’ portrayal of Helen lends an authenticity to the plot, enhancing the real-world relatability despite its fantastical underpinnings. She delivers a strong performance as a terrified, yet resourceful woman caught in a terrifying predicament.

Bruce McFee, laudable for his artistry, is a brilliant addition to the cast as Ben, an elevator mechanic who is enigmatic yet central to the plot. His performance breathes life into a character whose role is as eerie as it is dramatic. As the situation progresses, viewers are given an opportunity to see Ben's character evolve, swaying the pendulum of truth and deception.

Playing the role of the clean-cut businessman, David Hewlett adds another dimension to Elevated. His character’s nonchalant attitude to strange occurrences contrasts acting like catalytic agent to the rising levels of tension. Hewlett’s expressive acting aids in building up the suspense enveloping the movie’s atmosphere, making the horrific segments even more vivid.

As the elevator takes its course towards its destination, it becomes clear that the real horror lies not in the destination of their journey but within the claustrophobic confines of the capsule itself. Deviating from the usual horror genre will enjoy Elevated for its distinctive narrative style and non-traditional settings. This isn't your typical bloodbath horror; it's an exercise in psychological thriller meets alien invasion story that leaves audiences intrigued up to the very last second.

The film’s key theme arises from exploring the human psyche under pressure in a confined environment, making it a psychological thriller that successfully extracts fear and suspense from the ordinary. The trapped individuals soon face paranoia, suspicion, claustrophobia, and the primal fear of the unknown. Director Vincenzo Natali skillfully uses confined, urban spaces to create an atmospheric tension that only escalates as time ticks by.

The cinematography in Elevated is worth special mention, as it brilliantly captures the claustrophobic essence of the story. Shot mainly in the limited space of an elevator, the camera work has to be efficient and creative, and it succeeds in both fields. The ambiance of the film is then further amplified by the ominous, unforgiving cityscape outside the building.

From a technical narrative standpoint, Elevated is a lesson in minimalistic storytelling. Even with a compact runtime, it doesn't miss a beat, turn, or surprise, keeping viewers completely absorbed in the story. The screenplay plays with the audience's expectations as every confrontation, dialogue, and plot twist ensures a chilling, thrilling, and completely engrossing viewing experience.

While the movie does not rely on cheap jump scares or gore to tell its terrifying tale, Elevated is a journey of suspenseful occurrences that feeds off primal fears. The film is a profoundly intense visual cocktail of paranoia and claustrophobia, offering a chilling denouement that lingers in the viewers' minds long after the credits roll.

To sum it up, Elevated is a masterclass in atmospheric, slow-building suspense, an amalgamation of different genres that blend seamlessly. It showcases impressive performances, gripping narrative, and excellent direction, which are sure to please both horror and science fiction aficionados alike. All in all, Elevated is a captivating cinematic experience that demands one's attention from start to finish. Above all, it’s a perfect reminder that horror and suspense can be effectively dealt with, even within the confines of tight spaces and shorter run times. It may have made its debut back in the late '90s, but Elevated's appeal remains timeless.

Elevated is a Horror, Mystery, Thriller movie released in 1997. It has a runtime of 17 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8..

Vincenzo Natali
David Hewlett, Vicki Papavs, Bruce McFee
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