The Devil as told to us by M. Night Shyamalan
If the devil came calling, would you know what he looked like?
While not every movie has been a gem, I’m still quite a fan of M. Night Shyamalan and enjoyed The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and The Village. I have to admit, I knew nothing of the movie called The Devil and stumbled on it quite by accident. That’s a shame really, because I found this movie quite enjoyable with plenty of twists and turns along the way.
The story goes a little something like this – 5 people get onto an elevator that mysteriously jams twenty floors up. What starts off as a couple of awkward moments as they wait for the elevator repair man turns quite deadly as they begin to die one by one. At unexpected intervals the lights begin to flicker and they’re plunged into total darkness. You can hear the scuffle, the screams, the punches. When the lights come back, someone is dead. So who is murderer and what is the motive? Well, that is indeed the question, but nothing is as it appears.
As the story unravels we find every one in the elevator has a checkered past from Ponzi schemes, to pick pocketing and thievery, to embezzlement, to assault and battery. In essence they’re all "guilty". So who’s to blame for all this? At the moment, all we know if they’re all trying to shift the blame to someone else. Has the Devil really come calling? Is someone looking for payback? Vengeance? Atonement? Admission of their guiit?
Most of the movie takes place in the elevator, in close quarters, with the bodies stacking up on the floor. All attempts to get the passengers out are failing and time seems to be running out. By the time we get down to the last two everything seems pretty clear. But wait, it’s not what you think.
While not the most complex or mysterious of stories, I still found The Devil to be quite entertaining. There are plenty of bumps, bangs, unexpected periods of darkness and false clues all over the place. And let’s not forget, there are several exterior characters who might hold the missing piece to this puzzle. Perhaps there is a husband, boyfriend or some other mysterious figure who might know what’s going on? Some people want to get out of the building, and some want to get in.
This may not be the blockbuster of the Sixth Sense, but I still found plenty to like in this movie. There is plenty of tension between the characters and each time the lights go out you try to guess who’s going to be left standing. Did you guess correctly? Have you picked the murderer? Is it even one of the people in the elevator?
You won’t get your socks scared off, but this is a great popcorn movie and with the lights turned down low I fully expect you’ll jump a couple of times. Too bad I missed this in the theaters, on the big screen, I bet this was pretty impressive. But even for the small screen, I think it’s worth the rental price or at least worth the cost of the bandwidth.
By the way, don’t be surprised if you see the same "color" elements of Night’s other films as well as plenty of numerology. Also, if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, you might see some similarities to "And Then There Were None".
Other Articles of Interest:
- Ouija – The Movie – Keep Telling Yourself It’s Just a Game
- The Awakening – The early ghost hunting adventures of Florence Cathcart
- Exorcist III – Ranking 3 out of 5
- The Others – Revisited
- Insidious – An interesting tale, but not quite what I expected
- 666 Park Avenue
- Penny Dreadful – After Dark Horror Fest – 8 Films To Die For
- Paranormal Activity – Movie Review
- Saw II
- Exorcist II – Heretic – Ranking 3 out of 5