I can’t tell if this is another example of the migration of independent film out of the hands of trained artists and into the hands of ordinary people, or if these guys are actually film students:
This is not particularly good, of course — in fact it’s amusingly bad. The actors, especially the young ladies who appear to have been recruited ad hoc, can’t help looking into the camera or to the director for approval; the lead guy, credibly affable in the early scenes, continues with the goofy surfer-boy grin even when his girlfriend is murdered; the ending is abrupt and terrible; the editing is clunky and slow.
But there’s also obviously something winking and good-natured in this movie — it’s frequently amusing on purpose. The concept of a sexually predatory, murderous elevator is actually pretty funny, and the script doesn’t miss an opportunity to deflate the lead actor’s apparent vanity. And more interestingly, in all the important ways, this looks like a movie. The writer/directors know, more-or-less, how to plan and frame a shot, how to set up a sequence, and how to create a coherent flow of scenes. I’m never confused about space (an enormous problem in independent film — many filmmakers find themselves unable to create a sensible space for their characters to inhabit, even inside a single room), and Kelly’s murder, which consists of a single exterior shot of the building and a scream, is at once cleverly elliptical and impressively economical. (You have to think Hitchcock would nod in appreciation.)