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Five seemingly ordinary people become trapped in a skyscraper elevator. Each has a dirty secret, a tainted past. All seems well until the lights go out … and the screaming begins. With no way to escape, the horrific truth dawns that one of them is the Devil … and only then do they realise that very bad things happen for very good reasons. From the mind of M Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense, Signs), the director of Quarantine and the writer of 30 Days of Night, Devil is an unforgettably scary movie that will leave you breathless!
- Deleted Scenes
- The Story
- The Devil's Meeting
- The Night Chronicle
Five people trapped in an elevator, and one of them is the Devil--it's an intriguing launch pad for a movie, and in the hands of producer M. Night Shyamalan, it has all the makings of a first-class supernatural thriller. Unfortunately, Shyamalan's concern is more with the mechanics of the story--how to pull off that celebrated final-act switcheroo--than in presenting flesh-and-blood characters or dialogue that reeks of pulp. There's a moral high-handedness to the proceedings that's also off-putting--there's a reason why these five strangers are trapped in the lift, and why Detective Messina (the very likable Chris Messina from Julie & Julia) is summoned to rescue them, and why every character is set in motion in Shyamalan's Skinner box of a plot, but it hinges on very well-worn territory, which bites deeply into the story's novel conceit. The cast is uniformly fine--in addition to Messina, there are fine turns by such underrated actors as Bokeem Woodbine, Jenny O'Hara, Geoffrey Arend (in the elevator), and Matt Craven and Caroline Dhavernas (outside)--and the direction by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine), who coproduced with brother Drew and Shyamalan, does an impressive job of keeping the action fluid in the confines of the setting. But the central conceit of Devil is comic book material tarted up as an event picture, which doesn't elicit much hope for the rest of Shyamalan's Night Chronicles trilogy, of which this is the first entry. --Paul Gaita
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I was fascinated by the prospect of this film being set within the "Unbreakable" universe created by Shyamalan. This film, "Devil", was possibly going to serve as a sort of sequel to the "Unbreakable" movie starring Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson. Here, the arch-nemesis - the Devil - would be introduced. And I was so looking forward to seeing the unbreakable David Dunn going toe-to-toe with Evil Incarnate. How would the Devil react when facing a man who, for all intents and purposes, can't be harmed and won't give up?
"Devil" was also intended as part one of a trilogy, to be known as 'The Night Chronicles'. We were provided with hints of the story of the second film (initially called "12 Strangers"), and it concerned a jury discussing a case dealing with the supernatural. But, sadly, nothing came of this ...
... And then, some time later, Shyamalan gave us "Split" - which finally does return to the "Unbreakable" universe, and provides us with a super-powered villain. Hopefully Shyamalan will integrate all of these films, and provide us with sequels.
For now, "Devil" can be enjoyed on its own terms. It's a decent supernatural suspense-thriller. It's well-acted, and exciting. The only real negative I have with the film is that it's too short. At just 80 minutes (including some 5 minutes of credits) we're not provided with anything substantial. Much more could have been done to strengthen the story, develop the characterisation, and enhance the finale.
Nonetheless, I do recommend this.
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