Blackout (2008) Poster

Blackout (2008)

  • Rate: 5.1/10 total 1,774 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Mystery | Thriller
  • Release Date: 29 May 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: Germany:120 min (European Film Market) | 81 min (PAL DVD version) | USA:85 min (DVD release) | Argentina:120 min
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Blackout (2008)


Blackout 2008tt0844666.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Blackout (2008)
  • Rate: 5.1/10 total 1,774 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Mystery | Thriller
  • Release Date: 29 May 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: Germany:120 min (European Film Market) | 81 min (PAL DVD version) | USA:85 min (DVD release) | Argentina:120 min
  • Filming Location: Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain
  • Director: Rigoberto Castañeda
  • Stars: Amber Tamblyn, Aidan Gillen and Armie Hammer
  • Original Music By: Reinhold Heil  Johnny Klimek   
  • Plot Keyword: Elevator | Falling From Height | Broken Leg | Marco Polo | Maniac

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Ed Dougherty  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Revealing mistakes: On Elizabeth's tombstone it says her last name is "Madox", but when we see her husband Karl in his car there's a closeup of his ID which says his last name is "Maddox".

    Plot: Three people from different walks of life find themselves trapped inside a stalled elevator. What at first seems like an inconvenience rapidly escalates into a nightmare.  »

    Story: Three people from different walks of life find themselves trapped inside a stalled elevator. What at first seems like an inconvenience rapidly escalates into a nightmare.


    Synopsis: The film begins with a woman lying dead in the bathtub, having slit her wrists. It then moves on to show Karl (Aiden Gillen) at his wife’s graveside, where his sister in law brings his daughter to see him. Karl asks her to keep his daughter for another day while he sorts out his apartment. He then leaves, and is shown driving down the road, where he receives a phonecall from the hospital, asking him if he would be able to come in and help with a patient. He declines, stating that he has something important to do for his daughter.

    Claudia (Amber Tamblyn) is shown at the hospital, worried about her grandmother’s condition. A doctor appears and tells her that her grandmother has survived the surgery, but is old, so it is only a matter of time. Claudia leaves the hospital and gets on a bus.

    Tommy (Armie Hammer) is shown getting out of bed, where he wraps a bandage over his bruised knuckles. The woman sleeping beside him is bruised too. He gets on his motorbike and leaves.

    Karl pulls up at his apartment building and helps some elderly women leave the building. As he holds the door open, Claudia walks in and waits for the elevator to come. When it comes, the pair enter it, and the doors start to close, just as Tommy pushes the door open. Karl warns him about doing it, telling him that sometimes it can go wrong and cut people’s arms off. As the lift is moving upwards, it gets stuck between floors, and all three begin to panic because they have somewhere to be. During this, Karl takes a photo of Tommy, but Tommy makes him delete it, causing an argument, where Karl punches Tommy, and Claudia has to break them up.

    A series of flashbacks then shows the reasons why everyone wants to get out early. Claudia is shown with her grandmother, who tells her that she isn’t fun anymore, and that they should go and do something exciting. She realises that she is devoting too much time to work, and not enough to her social life, so she agrees to go to the beach. On the way, Claudia is stopped by a homeless man, but her grandmother carries on walking, and is involved in a car accident. After she wakes from her operation, she tells Claudia to go and fetch a photo of her husband so he can be near her when she passes. Claudia leaves to fetch the photo, and needs to get out in order to give it to her grandmother.

    Karl is shown taking a photo of a woman in a club. He begins talking to her and invites her to his house. He then drugs her, before carving marks into her chest. After this, he covers his body in salt and rapes her, before killing her. He leaves the mess in his apartment, and needs to get out in order to clean it up.

    Tommy is shown with his girlfriend Francesca, who is concerned he is just using her. Later that night, her father comes home drunk, and she tells him to leave in case he is caught, As Tommy is sneaking out, her father catches him, and she tries to calm him down, so he hits her.Tommy manages to knock him out, and tells Francesca that he wants to run away with her. She gives him her father’s money and he goes home to retrieve some from his father’s stash. He needs to get out in order to get the money.

    Back in the elevator, the three of them realise that due to the building being renovated, and people going on holiday, they are the only ones inside. Tommy pulls out a knife, and manages to wedge the doors open, but they are trapped between floors so they cannot escape. He decides to climb out, but as he is climbing to the next floor, the cable snaps, and he falls on to the elevator, which is now only held on by its emergency brakes. He climbs back in and they realise he has broken his leg.

    The three of them decide that someone should stay awake in case help comes to them. Claudia pulls a chocolate bar from her bag and Karl confiscates it from her, as well as taking her inhaler. This causes her to become agitated when he is smoking. During all of this, Francesca arrives and sees Tommy’s bike outside. As she gets in, she realises no one is in, and is about to leave when she hears shouting. She decides to leave anyway, and returns home.

    While Claudia sleeps, Karl tells Tommy if they don’t get out before his daughter gets there, he will kill Tommy and rape Claudia. Later on, he tells her that he has a plan to set the fire alarm off, if she climbs up and puts his lighter against the sensor, and if she fails, he will kill them both. He gives her inhaler back, and she climbs up, only to fall short of breath. She attempts to use her inhaler again but drops it down the shaft. She presses the lighter against the sensor, but cannot reach properly and falls on to the elevator, which has now become extremely vulnerable.

    She re-enters and Karl tells her he warned her what would happen, and he stabs Tommy to death. He goes to attack Claudia, but the elevator begins to fall towards an exit. He stabs her, but she climbs out into the corridor. He pulls himself out and starts wildly stabbing her, but she kicks him and he falls into the elevator, which drops to the bottom of the shaft and crashes. She then has an asthma attack.

    The next scene shows paramedics taking Claudia, and the girl from Tommy’s apartment away, with Karl’s daughter and sister in law in the police car. Claudia wakes up in the hospital, where the doctor who she spoke to earlier tells her that her grandmother didn’t make it.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • David Bergstein known as executive producer
    • Michael Cerenzie known as executive producer
    • Giuseppe Cioccarelli known as line producer
    • Eileen Fields known as line producer: Los Angeles
    • Dana Lustig known as producer: Los Angeles
    • Valerio Morabito known as producer
    • Simon O'Leary known as executive producer
    • Anna Vilà known as executive producer
    • Sam Zaharis known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Amber Tamblyn known as Claudia
    • Aidan Gillen known as Karl
    • Armie Hammer known as Tommy
    • Katie Stuart known as Francesca
    • Alvaro Roque known as Boy in Yellow Boots
    • Jim Arnold known as Homeless man
    • Claudia Bassols known as Pretty Woman
    • Peggy Batchelor known as Allison
    • Leslie Charles
    • Kate Jennings Grant known as Sister-in-law
    • Erin Guzowski known as Karl's Wife
    • Luana Lauverski known as Nurse
    • Jane Partridge known as Chloe
    • Emma Prescott known as Nikki Madox
    • Mabel Rivera known as Claudia's Grandmother
    • Fiona Rycroft known as Nurse
    • Andrew Tarbet known as Doctor
    • Diana Van Proosdy known as Lana
    • Mark Boone Junior known as Francesca's Father (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Jessica Anderson-Abbott known as hair stylist
    • Jessica Anderson-Abbott known as makeup stylist
    • Alba Guillén known as assistant hair stylist
    • Kusuma Nakprasit known as assistant makeup artist
    • Patricia Reyes known as make-up and hair department head
    • Jennifer Saeta known as assistant hair stylist
    • Jennifer Saeta known as assistant makeup artist
    • Pilar Ureña known as key hair stylist

    Art Department:

    • Chan Canelo known as artist painter
    • Albert Rodriguez known as concept artist
    • Albert Rodriguez known as illustrator and set designer
    • Joshua Stricklin known as art director: additional principal photography




    Production Companies:

    • Morabito Picture Company

    Other Companies:

    • PES Payroll  payroll services
    • Proxima  post-production (digital intermediate)
    • Soundtrack  ADR Facility


    • Capitol Films (2007) (worldwide) (all media)
    • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
    • Atlantic Film (2010) (Finland) (DVD)
    • Atlantic Film (2008) (Sweden) (DVD)
    • Prorom Media-Trade (2007) (Romania) (all media)
    • Top Film (2008) (Russia) (all media)
    • Warner Home Video (2008) (Netherlands) (DVD)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • I'm Vfx (visual effects services)
    • Proxima (visual effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Andrea Baracca known as digital color timing
    • Andrea Baracca known as digital intermediate supervisor
    • Luca Bellano known as rotoscope artist
    • Fabrizio Cucinotta known as scanning and recording operator
    • Robin L. D'Arcy known as visual effects producer
    • Pasquale Di Viccaro known as digital compositor
    • Fathima Feminò known as compositor
    • Cosatti Francesco known as visual effects coordinator: Proxima
    • Marco Geracitano known as digital compositor: Proxima
    • Valentina Girolami known as compositor
    • Giulia Infurna known as compositing supervisor
    • Fabio Luongo known as lead compositor: Proxima
    • Maura Manfredi known as digital compositor
    • Lorenzo Moneta known as matte painter
    • Adriano Mulè known as digital compositor
    • Ian Murray known as visual effects consultant
    • Claudio Napoli known as visual effects producer
    • Pietro Orlandi known as compositor
    • Emanuele Pescatori known as lead digital artist
    • Fabrizio Preti known as modeller
    • Michele Quassinti known as scanning and recording
    • Marco Ruggieri known as conformist
    • Kristina Russo known as CG artist
    • Paesani Sara known as digital compositor
    • Luca Saviotti known as cgi artist
    • Flaminia Speziale known as digital effects artist
    • Giuseppe Squillaci known as visual effects supervisor: Proxima
    • Matteo Stirati known as CG artist
    • Fabio Zaveti known as lead compositor: Proxima

    Release Date:

    • Germany 9 February 2008 (European Film Market)
    • Russia 29 May 2008
    • Greece 12 September 2008 (DVD premiere)
    • South Korea 9 October 2008
    • Netherlands 14 October 2008 (DVD premiere)
    • Mexico 27 February 2009
    • Germany 17 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Argentina 18 June 2009
    • Hungary 7 August 2009 (DVD premiere)

    MPAA: Rated R for sadistic bloody violence including a rape, nudity and language



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


    1. andrew-652 from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      Such a low rating on IMDb! I don't write many reviews but feelcompelled to write a short one (if IMDb allowed me to) to redress thebalance. Blackout was one of the best movies I've seen in the past 6months. The best thing about the movie is that you don't know what'sgoing to happen next – unlike the rubbish, yawn inducing "thriller"Lakeview Terrace. It is violent & disturbing in parts – especiallyagainst women so wouldn't recommend it as a date movie. All the actorswere good with the protagonist being particularly menacing! It's notladen with special effects – it doesn't need to be. It's a thriller,not a horror but unlike some movies is thrilling.

    2. trashgang from Midian
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      I always hunting for some horror all around the globe, now and then youfind some trash sometimes you find some beauties. This movie wasavailable for a few Euro's so I guessed I was buying some boring trash.Lucky me, it wasn't. First of all, it is a bit of a slow starter. Youwill learn to know three people. Nothing to do with each other onlythat they live in the same apartment. For no reason at all they waitfor the elevator to bring them home. But the elevator brakes down withthe three in it. Due a black out. What happens next is flashbacks oftheir live and the reason why they want to get out of the elevator assoon as possible. Why, watch the movie. You won't see coming what willhappen. The performances are really well done especially the doctor.But is it a real horror flick. I don't think so, it's more suspensewith a little horror twist in it. It never is gory but it containsblood and CGI. But the CGI never attracts the attention. There is alsosome nudity in it for you freaks out there. Overall the movie was anice surprise to see, can't understand why some people say it wasboring.

    3. rio64 ( from The Netherlands
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      And this movie getting a 5,whatever rating on IMDb proves it, yetagain. What a relief it was to finally see a GOOD horror movie againwith absolutely no stupid plot twists what so ever. This movie opens upwith possibly one of the nicest, greatest sound tracks I've heard in along long time. The story was plain WYSIWYG with absolutely awesomeacting in it, their biggest challenge being I imagine being stuck in anelevator. What can you do in a what is it, 10 by 10 box? Well, thismovie shows you! I don't know how they did it but even the camera workin that elevator was great, with stunning (hard to spot) cgi work in itlike for example bricks and other stuff falling from the elevator andthe camera just following it as it split apart on the ground. Thetension just builds up and this movie delivers. I can honestly say Ihaven't seen such a great straight to the point horror film in a longlong time. And the hell with the ratings, I love this movie and willDefinitely watch it more in the future. MORE of this producer and theseactors PLEASE.

    4. veritaspure from NYC
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      some people apparently just want to bash some relative unknowns forpersonal reasons, others want to bash famous people, neither give worka fair viewing. I read the first comments, wonder if his screenplayshave been roundly rejected, or what his ax to grind is.

      the movie's use of flash backs was quite good, the casting was superbvisually, beautiful women. the editing was economical. Itd successfullycreated an entire world. the photography was great. the acting wassuperb. every moment believable with tumultuous emotional inner's sleeper worth seeing. I cannot comment on the script versus thefinished film. But he took a tired concept and made it work mostexcellently.

    5. p-b-berkowitz from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      This movie came to my hands thanks to Jenny, so I have to thank youfirst of all. I finish it and run to see who are the people behind it,what they have done and what they are doing now, then I realize: itnever was release in theaters? That's true? Well, the movie has not thebest script ever, but comes from a nice plot that develops the tensionin a very stylish way. If you liked Panic Room or The Cube, and someother classics like Rear Window, you certainly have to watch this. Thecamera work is fantastic, the acting is superb (best Tamblyn), thephotography and scenarios are great, the soundtrack is beyondfantastic, editing, sound, a strong production without question.**SPOILERS** The no-goods: a first scene in a graveyard with a badacting Karl. The fact that they are between floors in a building, isthat possible? The idea that Tommy is a dangerous character dies in thefirst 20 minutes and the danger from Karl comes late in the film. Theend inside of the elevator with the thing crashing on his head withhorrible VFX, strange, cause the rest of the film has very nicevisuals. Maybe out of budget? Well, I think its a MUST SEE.

    6. john-souray from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      As I write this, IMDb gives just one running time: Germany, 120 mins.But the version I've just seen, rented in London from a branch of thewell-known chain, runs at just 81 mins (both the DVD machine and aglance at the mantelpiece confirm it). Can this be right? Was therereally 40 mins, a third of the original film, cut from it? Even withthis much cut, this UK version still carries the full 18 certificate;what on earth can there have been in this missing footage? Still,taking what I saw at face value, this was a very well-timed, conciseand claustrophobic little shocker. I'm not quite sure what the purposeof a film like this, and in other reviews I've taken moral exception tomisogynistic violence gloatingly filmed, but I found this bothconvincing and, and its penultimate minutes, viscerally frightening,and in the end, perhaps that authentic terror is all the justificationthat's needed.

      I don't think I need to introduce spoilers here (even though the filmdoesn't really rely on twists as such, even though a couple of falsetrails are laid), so I'll just say vaguely that the gradualdisintegration and revelation of character is well handled and paced bythe scriptwriter and effectively portrayed by all three main actors.Being a lover of epic films, I'd normally be wanting to find that 2hour version straight away, but on this occasion I just don't how itcould improve on this tight little gem. There's nothing needs adding.But I'd be interested to see any reviewers here explicitly discussingthe fuller cut.

      I'm with the few reviewers here who express bewilderment at thecomparatively low rating on IMDb, and who found this a rewarding littlesurprise. This is promising work by Castaneda (who I see was alsoresponsible for the equally under-rated KM31) and writer Dougherty. I'mlooking forward to seeing more by either or both of them.

    7. Rathko from Los Angeles
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      'Blackout' is one of those obscure little multinational affairs thatcan either be jaw-droppingly bad or a rare unearthed gem – happily,it's the latter. Three characters are trapped overnight in a stalledelevator, bickering and bitching as they try and find a way out whilethinking back to the sequence of events that led them there. These'Lost'-style flashbacks eventually reveal that one of their number is avicious sociopath.

      It's clear that Mexican director Castaneda is influenced more by thecharacter driven horror of the sixties and seventies than by vapideighties slashers, but his interest in people shouldn't be mistaken forsqueamishness when it comes to ugly sexual violence – it's been a longtime since I wanted to see a bad guy get what he deserves as much as Idid watching 'Blackout'. Castaneda uses more than a few moves from theDavid Fincher play-book, with the camera squeezing through keyholes andcracks and plummeting down elevator shafts, and the whole thing isbeautifully photographed, belying what was in truth a meager budget ofonly $4 million. A great psychological thriller from a director whodeserves success.

    8. ajs-10 from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      I had heard nothing about this film before it came up in the TVlistings. I hadn't even seen it on the shelves of my local DVD store. Iread the write-up on the TV and it looked interesting and so I decidedto watch it. Not the best film of its type, but still quite a goodwatch, but more of that later, here's a brief synopsis.

      Three people board an elevator in an old apartment building. It is aholiday weekend and most of the residents have gone away. The elevatorrises past the ninth floor and then a power outage leaves it stuckbetween nine and ten. As time passes we learn about the threeoccupants. Karl is a surgeon; he has a young daughter and is grievingfor his wife who had died tragically. Claudia is asthmatic, a studentwho is worried about her grandmother who has a terminal illness. Tommy,who has bruised knuckles has come from his girlfriend, Francesca'shouse and is in a hurry. They do all the usual things, press the alarmbutton, open the doors and shout, but to no avail. We are told inflashback the events that led these three to be on this elevator and itmakes for some interesting revelations, especially when we discover oneparticularly gruesome secret that makes one of them very dangerous.But, of course, I'm not going to give that away, so I'll leave it here.

      This is quite a tense claustrophobic drama that unfolds into anexciting thriller in the end. I like the way the back-stories of thethree main characters slowly unfold, which adds to the tension. Decentperformances from the entire main cast, so honourable mentions go toAmber Tamblyn as Claudia, Aidan Gillen as Karl, Armie Hammer as Tommyand Katie Stuart as Francesca.

      This version has a running time of only 82 minutes which, I felt, wasjust right. Any longer and I think I may have got bored. As I said atthe beginning, it's not the best film of its type, but having saidthat, I did find it quite entertaining and pretty gruesome in places.So, it's not one for the feint hearted, but quite an interesting filmnone the less. Recommended.

      My score: 6.3/10

    9. RicUK from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 9:51 pm

      I mean, it was just a pointless movie that leads to nowhere except tothe end credits thank god. 3 dull people are trapped in a lift. Now ifthe majority of the film is going to be set in a gloomy lift, then agood screenplay with structive characters and story will be vital tokeep the audience hooked. But the characters are far from interesting.

      one of the character is made out to be a stereotypical thug at thebeginning but later we learn he protective towards his girlfriend whogets abused by her father. one character loses their grandmother butdue to poor acting and dialogue, i couldn't care less and feel nosympathy for her. The 3rd character however is a doctor , who lost hiswife but flaunts, sadistically tortures and rapes with other women.That basically all the background knowledge we get to know about thesecharacters, the characters that we be watching for the next 80 mins.Not very interesting i know .

      your probably getting bored reading this review, but not more boredthan u would watching this movie. There nothing interesting to sayabout it,so what you expect.

      Three people stuck in a lift, two die, but who cares who dies , andthat it, complete boredom. Oh and how is it classified as a horror, theonly horror i see of it now is the horror that i let my educationalbrain watch this junk

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