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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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  • Mar 16, 2011
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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 premise and it kept me interested until the very end.

Devil is one of three movies in the planned Night Chronicles trilogy, and it is about five seemingly random people who end up stuck in an elevator under seemingly random circumstances. Those people are Sara (AKA The Young Woman), Jane (AKA The Old Woman), Tony (AKA The Mechanic), Ben (AKA The Security Guard) and Vince (AKA The Salesman). The movie is narrated by a security guard named Ramirez who is telling a story that his mother told him as a child, about how the devil entraps sinners in an enclosed area, makes them recant and then kills them one by one. Things in the movie are set in motion with a suicide, a man who jumps out a glass window and lands on a truck. But things start to get weirder when they find that the elevator won't move no matter what they do and the lights keep going out. People in the elevator are also dropping like flies and on top of all that, one may be Satan in human form. Basis for a joke? No, but the basis for a fiendishly promising premise that ends up getting a few small thrills and keeps me on my toes from beginning to end, although one would think that the Devil has better things to do than torture a bunch of white-collar criminals in an elevator.

With the plot summarized, let me give credit where credit is due. Whoever came up with the premise for this movie knows what they are talking about. Not the script, the script was terrible, but the basic story. It was almost Agatha Christie-esque in its mystery and it borrowed some story elements from one of my favourite books And Then There Were None, except with half the people. The story was good, but the script was bad. The dialogue was laughable and considering that this is technically a horror film, laughing isn't exactly a good thing. Now would also probably be a good time to talk about the twist ending. Shyamalan's signature twist ending is in here too, and I must admit that it was rather clever, but I figured it out 40 or 50 minutes into the movie. I'm not going to give it away, but I kind of saw it coming, even if some won't.

Now onto the acting. I don't think the actors in this movie were terrible, and their characters weren't all that well written, but the acting is still far from good. I would have to say that the best actor in the movie was Chris Messina who played the detective in charge of solving the devil case. His character would be considered the protagonist if the movie had one, because his storyline involves the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic who started drinking after a hit-and-run that killed his wife and kid, and most of the action outside the elevator has him in it. The rest of the actors were in the same camp: decent, but not great.

The movie as a whole is pretty predictable, but I would say that it's worth checking out if you just want a decent low-budget thriller. If you're afraid the movie is too scary, it isn't. However, it it relies heavily on jump-scares so if you are easily scared by jump-scares than this probably isn't the movie for you. The acting is okay, the script is pretty bad, but the story is promising and I can't wait to see the other two Night Chronicles films. All in all, far from good, but far from bad either.

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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 . 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 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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.      …
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.
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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."
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    Director: John E. Dowdle
    Genre: Mystery
    Release Date: September 17, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
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