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Filmblog Review: Devil

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From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan, Devil is the first part of “the Night Chronicles” , a trilogy of urban scary movies. The premise is simple. Five strangers get trapped in a high-rise elevator, one of them might be the Devil and he is killing them one by one whilst a cop tries to solve the riddle before everyone is killed in front of their eyes.  Check out our review after the jump!

First I heard of Devil is when reports started surfacing of audiences laughing out loud when Shyamalan’s name appeared during the trailers. This was just after the release of The Last Airbender, which although a moderate box office success was destroyed by critics, internet bloggers and fans of the original show. Something I couldn’t completely jump on board with especially being an M Night apologist. I also felt that the show was really devised for Kids although it is one of the best animated shows I have seen in my entire life. If geeks get something out of it great, but it’s not justified to start owning everything related to its development, as geeks do. But I can also understand the backlash somewhat and agree he has not lived up to the expectations people had of him after his first 3 releases  (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs). There are no big named stars in this movie and even the director (John Erick Dowdle) can’t be considered a box office draw. Leaving only one name to market on the marquee and I am sure everyone ( except Shyamalan) knew what a rough time they were going into.

So getting back to Devil, although not directed by Shymalan, he was involved and is credited as the writer of the story is a very successful B-movie, and I had a very enjoyable time. I have to say my expectations were very low but since I have taken upon myself to at least try out some movies from the horror genre, and as long there is no gore and violence towards women or children, I am starting to develop an appetite for them.

Devil is a very contained movie, most of the action happens in the stuck elevator and there are only a total of 7 main characters the movie revolves around and most are trapped. It’ s very fast paced  as should be the case in these kinds of movies which helps cover up any gaping plot holes there might have been and also a welcome change from the usual Shyamalan fares that have a much slower burn. Although none of the cast are well known actors, the performances are pretty good especially Chris Messina who plays a very effective cop (for once a cop-portrayal that doesn’t make me want to tear my last remaining hairs out) and Bojana Novakovic who we last saw in Drag me to Hell where she was the daughter of the Gypsy lady.

I don’t know if I would classify this within the horror genre as most of the kills happen when the lights go out in the elevator and leaving the audience to stare in the darkness with flashes of light and a very creepy sound design, last time I remember it being done so effectively in a movie might have been the Vin Diesel starrer Pitch Black.

There are quite a few religious undertones in the movie like redemption, hope, forgiveness (which are pretty universal) but I guess the title of the movie is a prelude to that. The Shyamalan twist at the end is back, it’s nothing shocking but very reminiscent of a previous movie he did.( I won’t mention which one as it will spoil the fun plus I didn’t even want to mention there was a twist at all)

I do have to say that I was completely on board and did not see the end coming.  

Devil fills me with a lot more hope for The Night Chronicles and that maybe if Night’s ego can keep be contained ( maybe contain it in an elevator stuck on the 21st floor), there is even still hope for him!

If you are looking for a fun, non-gory thriller/horror movie to watch with a bunch of friend at home and you’re not one of those people that call one of most unique voices and talented directors in Hollywood “Shyamalangadindong”. Check this movie out. Definitely recommend it for what is it. A pretty fun Elevator ride!

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