Down follows a man and a woman that become stranded in an elevator over a long holiday weekend. As they learn more about each other, their awkward romance devolves into a fight for survival.
Another entry in Hulu's Into the Dark series, Down is nothing more than a fairly traditional and predictable thriller set in a location that is deceptively unoriginal. The elevator has been done before: The Lift, Dark Floors, Devil, and of course the aptly named Elevator. Of these, Devil is by far my favorite, and Down would be found soundly in third or fourth. It just settles in.
Its pacing and writing is more than bearable, giving some decent moments of the haphazard social experiment and its inevitable dark turn. But it's very easy to see where the film is going, and as it progresses into its thriller action, you aren't surprised in the least.
The final act is a good bit of fun, though. It's difficult to dive much further without spoilers, so I will leave it at that. The entire film pieces together into a cohesive tale that never felt like a waste of time, but it never felt special. Outside of Pooka!, that has been the theme thus far of the Hulu specials. They don't feel like they are taking advantage of their range and possibilities, but rather dipping their toe into the water instead of diving in. They're scared to be scary.
Much of the same can be said about Netflix's early journey into original films. They felt bland and timid, unlike their acclaimed TV shows. But they've slowly been inching upward, making better and better pieces of cinema that increase in quality and originality with every entry it seems.
I think Hulu will get there. None of the Into the Dark films I've seen have been bad. They just haven't made much of an impact. I think Hulu needs to take things a bit further. Try diving into the deep end. Maybe they'll come up from the depths with a bit more backbone that horror fans can better immerse themselves in.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 3/10
Film Quality: 5/10