Director:John Erick Dowdle
Cast:Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O'Hara, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Caroline Dhavernas
Despite having his name being plastered all over the film, M. Night Shyamalan merely came up with the story and produced the pic, while leaving the actual writing duties to Brian Nelson (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) and directorial efforts to the John Erick Dowdle, whom fans may remember helmed the indie hit The Poughkeepsie Tapes and Quarantine remake. This is probably for the best, as M. Night hasn't had the greatest track record as-of-late *cough*The Happening*cough*, but I digress.
Devil is a decent little thriller that doesn't exactly tread new ground, but still manages to offer an intriguing whodunit storyline. In this case we've got the Devil offing people in an elevator and we as an audience, as well as the characters in the film, are left to determine which one of the group of individuals in the confined space is killing off people with each flicker and blackout from the lights. I actually had the identity of the Devil pegged pretty early on, and was a little thrown off course by certain events towards the end, but my suspicions never faltered.
I was under the impression that we'd primarily focus on the people within the elevator, but the movie also keeps us glued to the detective on the outside who's assigned to the case involving the deaths within the group. A religious Latin security guard is also given the spotlight during key scenes, and serves as the film's unnecessary narrator, spoon feeding us story elements and details about an old superstitious tale he was told growing up by his mother.
The movie could've done without the overzealous security guard, as he didn't serve much purpose other than to spew a bunch of religious lines and flip a toast on the ground in an attempt to prove to the detective and other non-believers that it always falls jelly side down when he is near, WTF!?... There really aren't many (if any) scares in the film. Each time the lights go out some rustling in the dark is heard and someone ends up dead in some sort of harsh manner, and that just repeats until the last two remain, so those looking for a good scare may need to look elsewhere.
Aside from the silly security guard and the fact that the movie would've been better as a short film or a segment in some sort of anthology, Devil entertained me to an extent and kept me interested from the start. Certain aspects could've been fleshed out better and it would've been nice had the focus been more on the group and the claustrophobia and paranoia within it, but it's an otherwise decent effort.
|Posted on December 19, 2010 - 7:20pm | FrighT MasteR|