Top positive review
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a movie with real potential
on 9 March 2017
This is a fine film - with an intriguing story. A group of strangers get trapped in a broken lift, and one of them is the Devil! And this evil supernatural being is there to take advantage of, as well as encourage, the breakdown of social norms between these trapped strangers - as they start to bicker and fight. Eventually things turn especially nasty, and murder ensues ...
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.