Is your screenplay complete without a good elevator scene? Probably not. As a director can you forgive yourself for not including one? No.
So there’s the argument, an open-and-shut case. Any film worth its salt has an elevator scene, so here are a few I’ve picked out I rather like.
What would make your list?
Oddly tender yet completely brutal, here Ryan Gosling’s character gently holds Carey Mulligan’s character back before he viciously stomps a guy to death.
In a touching scene Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness and Sean Connery’s Jimmy Malone find the mob got the drop on a member of their team in the elevator.
A Cabin In The Woods
Guards with guns race to face whatever comes out the lifts. And what emerges is holy hell – an explosion of monsters, blood and death.
Showing no respect for big name actors – and in a genuinely shocking moment – a key character gets shot as soon as the lift doors open.
The T-1000 chases Arnie and the gang into a lift as they flee the mental asylum. In such close quarters with a killer who has swords for arms it’s frighteningly tense.
Lost In Translation
Murray and Johansson’s characters say goodnight exchanging kisses. Wonderfully played. Murray also has another lift scene, standing a foot taller than the locals.
Chris Evans’ character gets into a lift whilst singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing with gusto. Needless to say, no one gets in with him.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
In a rare lighter moment, Jena Malone’s Johanna Mason strips off in a lift in front of Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch. Some are more pleased than others.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Steve Rodgers starts in the lift with a few guys. A door opens, more get on. Then more. He asks if any want out before they get started. He then gets started.
Ellen Page’s Ariadne descends in an elevator, sneaking into Cobb’s memories to find Marion Cotillard’s Mal, gorgeous and deadly.