Malevolent Ascent (2010)

David Wascavage makes two kinds of movies, both awesome. One side is silly monster movies, like Suburban SasquatchFungicide and Zombies by Design. The other is deadly serious and something sinister is happening beyond the fabric of normal life like Tartarus and this movie. I’m a fan of pretty much everything he does and this one pushes his filmmaking the furthest I’ve seen in all of his films.

Seven normal people are on an elevator that crashes and leaves them trapped inside a building. As they get their bearings and try to figure out how to escape, they soon discover that one of them has no intention of seeing any of them survive.

You know, M. Night Shyamalan was also raised in eastern Pennsylvania (born in Mahé, India, and raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania) while Wascavage is from West Chester. This film reminds me of a Shymalan idea but with five-figure budget, cardboard sets and CGI that can’t mean computer generated imagery, this lo fi auteur makes movies that I remember long after three or four what a twist Shyamalan movies have come in and out of theaters.

Damien Colletti is really great in this and brings the best acting I’ve seen in one of the director and writer’s films. Speaking of greatness, this description on the director’s site makes me want to watch this all over again: “A psychopath pursues victims throughout a collapsed mental hospital, as they learn that their survival and their very lives are struggles against the perils of life. Malevolent Ascent is a thrilling horror film that takes the viewer deep inside the bowels of a collapsed building, and personifies humanity’s desperation to fight against the unknown.”

I don’t plan on getting on any elevators anytime soon.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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