1980s Science Fiction Horror On Tubi Explores Terror Of Technology

By Robert Scucci | Updated

the lift movie

When I was first made aware of The Lift, which is a Dutch movie from 1983 about a killer elevator, I’ll admit that I was skeptical about what I was about to subject myself to. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this movie actually had some genuinely terrifying moments and very little unintentional comedy. Thinking that I was about to add another “so bad it’s good” kind of movie to the list of reasons why my friends hate me, I walked away from this viewing experience thinking that The Lift is a solid technological horror movie that I could actually recommend to fans of the sub-genre in good faith. 

Not A Run Of The Mill Horror Movie

The Lift is different from most horror movies because its primary antagonist is stuck inside of an elevator shaft located inside of an office building. I know you’re probably thinking that the easy way to solve this problem is to simply avoid going into that building or using that elevator, but what’s the fun in that? And just to be clear, at no point in this movie does the elevator escape the building and go on a rampage throughout the city.

That would just be silly. 

Tech Done Wrong

In all seriousness, The Lift is more so a movie about how corporations mishandle their problematic technology if it means that doing the right thing is going to hurt their bottom line. The film’s protagonist, Felix Adelaar (Huub Stapel), is a talented technician working for an elevator company known as Delta Liften, and is called to the office building after a series of violent incidents occur inside of the elevator shaft. After performing many lengthy inspections, Felix can’t find anything wrong with the elevator, and begins to suspect foul play that’s above his pay grade.

Becoming obsessed with the electrical workings of the seemingly sentient elevator in The Lift, Felix doesn’t have much to work with in this movie until he meets up with a journalist named Mieke de Beer (Willeke van Ammelrooy). Mieke is a tabloid journalist who runs the kind of stories about women giving birth to Bigfoot that you’d see at the grocery checkout next to the candy bars.

In this case, however, Mieke actually has some journalistic integrity, and has reason to believe that Rising Sun, an experimental electronics manufacturer, is the company behind the heinous hydraulics that are terrorizing the office building. 

Things Fall Apart

Felix’s home life falls apart in The Lift because he spends most of the movie with Mieke, and his wife has reason to believe that he’s having an affair. With nothing left to lose, Felix breaks into the office building at night, and tries to solve the mystery once and for all. 

The Killing Isn’t The Point

the lift movie

As ridiculous as The Lift may sound, it’s an effective horror movie because the kills are sparse yet brutal, and not really the point. What this film sets out to explore more than anything is how corporate greed and criminal negligence can lead to disastrous results. Felix knows he’s powerless to convince the powers that be to do the right thing, so he has to take matters into his own hands while sacrificing everything that’s dear to him in the process. 

Stream It Now

the lift movie


If you’re tired of masked killers and jump scares but still want to watch a decent horror movie, you should give The Lift a chance. You can stream this hidden gem on Tubi for free before deciding that it’s probably in your best interest to just take the stairs moving forward.