film / tv / politics / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / politics / web / celeb

evil-elisa-lam.jpeg

This Week's 'Evil' is a Terrifyingly Perfect Entry Point into the Series

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 12, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 12, 2021 |


evil-elisa-lam.jpeg

This week’s Evil is a gem, a largely self-contained episode that is the perfect episode to use to introduce the series to friends. It also illustrates that reality is often more terrifying than the supernatural alternative.

It’s a simple concept that revolves around an “Elevator Game,” based on an actual game that originated in Japan and South Korea. The rules are simple and entail taking an elevator to certain floors in a certain order in order to gain access to another world. From the Hide and Go Kill Wiki:

— Press the 4th floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. If someone does that, start from the beginning. — Press the 2nd floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. If someone does that, start from the beginning. — Press the 6th floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. If someone does that, start from the beginning. — Back to the 2nd floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. — If someone does that, start from the beginning. — Press the 10th floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. — If someone does that, start from the beginning. — Press the 5th floor, Do not proceed if someone enters the elevator or one of the players leave the elevator. If someone does that, start from the beginning. — If a woman enters the elevator at the fifth floor, DO NOT LOOK AT HER, DO NOT SPEAK AND DON’T TALK TO HER. That woman is not a human, if you do, she will decided to keep you for her own.

The Elevator Game gained popularity when a woman named Elisa Lam went missing for over a month, and the Elevator Game was proposed as a theory for her disappearance (in reality, she was found in a water tank in a downtown L.A. hotel).

Likewise, in the episode of Evil, Kristen (Katja Herbers) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) are investigating a case where a teenage boy playing the elevator game disappeared the year before. A month later, his girlfriend — in an attempt to find her boyfriend — played the elevator game and also disappeared. Believers think that they disappeared into a “nether world.”

During the course of their investigation, they encounter a couple of supernatural explanations. The building where the elevator game is played, for instance, is thought to be haunted, owing to the number of people who died in the building and a woman who was bisected by the elevator and survived for 10 minutes, dragging herself along the floor by her nails while screaming out for her dog. Kristen and Ben, for various reasons relating to the season-long arc, are also experiencing terrifying hallucinations that make this case particularly fraught. They have to be seen to be believed, but trust me: The demons and other supernatural elements in Evil tend to be both frightening and comic.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 11.35.45 AM.png

So what’s really at play? Spoilers!

This particular version of the Elevator Game requires that the player go to the 13th floor. However, the building does not have a “13th” floor. However, both the disappearing teenager and his girlfriend tried to hack the game by pushing the buttons for the first floor and 3rd floor simultaneously, which actually caused the elevator to plunge into a hidden basement, of which not even the owners of the hotel are apparently aware. They got out of the elevator to inspect the basement, only for the elevator to shut behind them, leaving them in an empty and darkened basement area with no real cell-phone reception, no food, no water, and no way to escape.

Ben discovers the trick and is transported to the basement. When he gets out, the elevator closes behind him, and he finds the bug-infested corpses of the teenagers.

evil-corpses.png

With no way to return, he realizes that this is how he’s going to die, too. He’ll starve to death, and no one will be able to find him, and he’ll expire alone with only the company of two corpses. Several hours later, he freaks out and starts to go mad before, thankfully, Kristen and David (Mike Colter) figure out the trick and are able to retrieve him.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 11.39.54 AM.png

The whole episode is haunting, but also has a campfire story quality to it, only in the end, it’s not a man with a hooked hand or a demon that’s the villain, but loneliness, isolation, and ultimately starvation. What is worse than disappearing into a supernatural nether region? Being trapped in a real basement and dying of hunger while going mad over the course of a month?

Watch this episode. If you love it, you’ll love Evil.

So Wait, Are Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell Actually Dating? | John Oliver Missed His Calling As A Nature Channel Host




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



Header Image Source: Paramount+