EXCLUSIVE: London-based sales firm AMP International has joined forces with new LA-based genre start-up Fearworks on horror The Elevator Game, which has long-time American Horror Story DoP Michael Goi attached to direct.
The supernatural horror, based on the eponymous online phenomenon, will follow Dale, a socially awkward teenager who discovers that the night his sister disappeared she had just played The Elevator Game. The ritual is conducted in an elevator, in which players attempt to travel to another dimension using a set of rules that can be found online. Ignoring the many online warnings, Dale resolves to follow and find her. But he discovers that the warnings are there for a reason and ‘The Woman On The 5th Floor’ is not what she seems.
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The cult online ‘game’, often found on reddit and YouTube, first emerged in Korea but has gained traction in other countries where some have speculated a connection with mysterious disappearances and deaths, including that of student Elisa Lam at LA’s Cecil Hotel in 2013.
Lam’s death is the subject of new Netflix docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which premieres in the U.S. this week.
Multi-Emmy nominee Goi was DoP on the first five seasons of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story. The veteran lenser also collaborated with Murphy on Glee and Scream Queens. Although a decade old, his controversial horror film Megan Is Missing resurfaced in November 2020 after it went viral on TikTok where it has had more than 470,000,000 views.
The plan is for The Elevator Game to shoot in Manitoba, Canada this summer as a Fearworks production in association with AMP International and Buffalo Gal Pictures.
Producers are Fearworks’ Ed Elbert (Anna And The King) and Stefan Brunner (Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance). Travis Seppala (Captive) wrote the script. Cast has yet to be set.
AMP, which last year handled horrors The Wretched and Sundance Midnight Movie Amulet, is handling world sales and we hear the firm is already getting interest ahead of this year’s virtual EFM, including from streamers. Executive producers are James Norrie and Inderpal Singh of AMP International and Kevin Hicks.
The Elevator Game marks the first feature for Fearworks, a new venture formed by Brunner and Elbert with a focus on genre film and TV projects.
Director Goi said: “What Psycho did for showers, The Elevator Game will do for lifts. I want the audience to be taking the stairs after they see this film.”
James Norrie of AMP International commented: “The Elevator Game is hands down the scariest script I’ve ever read, and The Woman on the 5th Floor is such a terrifying creation she will forever haunt my dreams. Coupled with the game actually being real and you have a film that is literally the stuff of nightmares”.
Producers Elbert and Brunner added: “The Elevator Game is one of those iconic urban legends that have been intriguing and haunting people around the world since first appearing. We couldn’t be more excited to see Michael Goi bring his incredible cinematographic vision to this project.”
The ‘game’ is proving fertile ground. There appear to be multiple projects in development at the moment inspired by the subject.
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