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By Steve Anderson | February 1, 2007

Somewhere, a whole bunch of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fans are having pocket embolisms, and what’s driving the night of nonstop twitching is “Elevate,” a movie about an insecure loner type by the unlikely name of Rowly who develops an unnatural obsession with the voice activated elevator at his job. His boss is raining misery on his head, he goes home every night to a sick yet still horrifically domineering mother, and pretty much the only place the man can get a little respect is in the elevator that is programmed to treat him nicely. And what he’ll do by the end of the movie is just going to amaze people.

Sure, at this point, I’m reminded vaguely of “Love Object,” but that at least made something like sense. This is part of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” gone horribly, horribly wrong. See? I told you it’d make sense. The elevators, programmed with pleasant personalities, have managed to take those personalities to nightmarish extremes and manipulate those poor bastards with no lives and no self-esteem.

And somehow… despite the sheer unlikeliness of this particular concept… I find this pretty scary. How many hundreds–thousands!–of Rowlys are there already out there, so susceptible to the first homicidal machine that shows them a little affection? Yeah, I said it. How many poor bastards are there out there so starved for affection that a homicidal elevator could manipulate them into killing for them? Now think about that for a minute.

You scared too?

All in all, yeah… I’m scared. Real scared. Though the concept of a homicidal elevator is ludicrous beyond measure, there’s a whole bunch of downtrodden Rowlys out there. And that scares me a whole lot more than some serial killer.

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