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Devil (movie)

A 2010 movie and the First film in M. Night Shyamalan's The Night Chronicles

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Enjoyed, despite predictability

  • Sep 18, 2010
It starts with a suicide. A sign of the devil's presence. When he comes, it is to torment a few select people before taking their souls. This old-world religious myth is brought to a modern day Philadelphia. Five strangers get on an elevator, only to get stuck 30 floors up. As time lengthens in the tight enclosed space, the passengers' tempers start to flare. And when the lights flicker, blood is drawn. A who-done-it suspense wrapped up in a classic sci-fi atmosphere.

I got to see the midnight premiere for free and found it entertaining, even though predictable. It's been a while since I've seen a suspense movie with the 'classic' elements, which is probably why I enjoyed it despite the predictability. It relies more on the viewer's imagination to instill fear, never showing the attacks only giving the sound. The misdirection was fair, but if you see a lot of suspense/horror movies you'll probably guess who plays the 'Devil'. Characters are interesting with mysterious pasts, so you never really know them til much later in the film. The acting was decent, a couple iffy moments but a few wonderful moments. My favorites of the movie being Logan Marshall-Green and Matt Craven; both play their parts wonderfully. Seasoned Jenny O'Hara has a couple shining moments as well. Plot was so/so. I was left with a few questions at the end, but the story itself is complete. There is an interesting play between the story lines of the strangers and the detective that's investigating that gives it a layering that's been lost in the 'gore' movies of late.

Devil is one of those that you think about a bit more after you see it. I caught some parallelisms and structural details much later after I let it sit with me. And honestly, it's an interesting situation to contemplate; how would you act in that situation? What details would plunge you into paranoia and suspicion? Basically, a good exploration on the themes of human evil and it's projection of paranormal and external evil with classic structuring techniques. 

I recommend this one for your home tv over the movie theater. There are a lot of dark/black screen moments that I couldn't get into completely with the aisle lighting and the rows upon rows of people in front of me. Get it with Netflix or onDemand for a couple bucks and make your viewing area super dark. It'll be much creepier and scarier that way.

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October 26, 2010
You actually make this sound really good, great review.
September 22, 2010
Thanks for this review, kaelix - I was considering seeing this over the weekend, but I think I'll wait on it for video. Sounds like it was pretty decent, though, which I'm glad to hear! I do love a decent scary movie.
September 18, 2010
Nice review! I had the intention of seeing this in theaters today but I think I'll go see THE TOWN instead since it looked very interesting. I will probably still see this though, since I do like the descriptions you've provided. Shymalan was ONLY the producer of this film right? I think I am glad to hear that--the director of Quarantine would be at home for this film.
September 18, 2010
Quarantine director makes sense. I knew Shymalan was somehow involved, but not the director. And now I can definitely see some correlations between Devil's and Quarantine's style, though not overly pronounced. Tight, confined spaces might be his niche :P
More Devil (2010 movie) reviews
review by . September 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
2 ½ Stars: This Shyamalan Elevator Shaft is Going Down....
Despite the bitter taste the name “M. Night Shyamalan” leaves in my mouth these days (because of "The Last AirBender”), I’ve decided to check out the Shyamalan hatched-up idea “Devil” since it was directed by “Quarantine” directors Drew and John Erick Dowdle which I thought was decent for a remake. “Devil” is scripted by Brian Nelson and truth be told, while the atmosphere feels slightly “Shyamalan”, the film is more a …
review by . December 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****      M. Night Shyamalan is in desperate need of a career changer. Anything-even if it's a film he merely produces instead of penning and helming. Penning in particular is one thing Shyamalan hasn't been that good at recently, although I have no problem with the man's directorial style. "Devil" is a film that has the premise of a Shyamalan film, but since he didn't actually direct or write it, it lacks his signature style. Perhaps that …
review by . March 16, 2011
I am not very familiar with the works of M. Night Shyamalan, but I am looking to be. Devil is not directed by Shyamalan, but it has his name attached to it and I'm sure that turned a lot of people off this movie. It may seem kind of hip to make fun of him right now, but you look at The Last Airbender and The Happening and say he doesn't deserve it. However, Devil is one of the better works he has had his name attached to. It has laughable acting and a bad script, but it has a promising …
review by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      DEVIL      When I first heard about this film I was excited because I have always found these types of movies entertaining. M. Night Shyamalan was on board here as a producer and also came up with this I believe so I was interested to say the least. I heard many things about this movie, some good some bad so I had to check it out. After watching this I have to say I liked more than I thought but it wasn't what I expected. I was actually expecting …
review by . September 29, 2010
In many ways, DEVIL is simply a bloated episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE or ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. It could easily have been told in a 60 minute TV episode (including commercials). Apparently this tale "sprung" from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan...and I like the inclination to tell little scary "short stories" via a film series. However, I think I might like the idea even better if this became, let's say, an hour long series on Showtime. DEVIL is so modest in scale and ambition …
review by . December 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      Although there are many things wrong with this movie it does in a way keeps itself interesting for the audience. "Devil" wants to be a product of fear and it succeeds at one point with it's suspense but towards the end it gets lazy, predictable and boring. The first thing you notice wrong is the story from the first 5 minutes of the movie. You got cops who don't apply the usual methods in those situations not to mention you got a body falling from 35th …
Quick Tip by . January 18, 2011
Devil = Speed + Some Supernatural Stuff - Sandra Bullock. The fact that M Night got me again is completely my fault.
Quick Tip by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This film is far from the best ever and that is a little disappointing, it had the potential to be a classic. Still this is not as bad as some think and is worth a rental at least, it has some good special features so that is always a plus. Also while it may be a little predictable it does not try to over do anything, like that they did that.
Quick Tip by . January 27, 2011
I was actually surprised at how good it was. The story was focused and tight, they kept the scope fairly small, and it pretty much delivered what it promised. As far as well done horror films with religious themes of redemption and damnation, I'd have to rate this up there with Frailty.
About the reviewer

Ranked #361
College student working part-time at a pizza place, how cliché right? Going for Marketing Communications and English with a Writing emphasis. In my free time I like to read, play games (both video … more
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About this movie


  • Opens Friday, September 17, 2010
  • PG-13
    Violence, disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references
  • The first in a series of collaborations from Media Rights Capital and M. Night Shyamalan comes in the form of Devil, a supernatural thriller based on an idea by the enigmatic filmmaker. Going off of a script by Brian Nelson is Quarantine director John Erick Dowdle, who handles producing duties with his brother Drew.
  • Cast: Chris Messina, Geoffrey Arend, Logan Marshall-Green, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O'Hara
  • Director: John E. Dowdle
  • Genres: ThrillerSupernatural Thriller
  • Poster art for "The Night Chronicles: Devil."
  • view wiki


    Director: John E. Dowdle
    Genre: Mystery
    Release Date: September 17, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
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