This is an early review for the movie “Devil” released by Universal Pictures on Sept 17th 2010.
The story for the movie is written by currently much reviled film director M. Night Shyamalan. The movie is starring Chris Messina, Geoffrey Arend, Logan Marshall and Matt Craven and is about a group of people trapped in a high-rise elevator with the Devil himself.
First of all let me start with Mr. M. Night Shyamalan. I like this director. From the moment I saw “Sixth Sense” and was blown away by its clever reversal of everything the movie seemed to be about, I was very curious about this director. I was disappointed by “Unbreakable”, even though I am a big fan of Bruce Willis. The beginning during the train crash setting up Bruce Willis’s superhuman character was amazing. Samuel L. Jackson brittle as glass character was interesting as well. I was just expecting some payoff from the film that never came. “The Sixth Sense” made about $290 mil in the US and “Unbreakable” made about $95 mil in the US.
Please click on the images below, if you would like to buy these movies from Amazon.com
“Unbreakable” did not dissaude me from watching the director’s other movies. His next movie was “Signs” with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. The movie was a perfect alien invasion story with little shown on screen, but what remained was a sense of dread and impending doom for its protagonists. When the actual alien finally shows up, it didn’t matter any longer. The director managed to create perfect science fiction film virtually without any CGI. Considering that most of the film is set inside a house or under the house all the needed special effects were provided by my own mind. “Signs” made about $228 mil in the US.
Buy the “Signs” on Amazon.
I even liked the “Village” ($114 mil in the US) with its striking trailer, interesting first half and ridiculous revelation about the origins of the village. As is often the case in popular culture, some writers or filmmakers are able to hint at something and make us expect some amazing revelation, but they cannot go beyond the conventional explanation at the end. Popular Fox TV show “Fringe” is an example with its interesting setup about various unexplained and horrible crimes appearing to be linked to some world encompassing conspiracy, before devolving into monster of the week plots obviously meant to prolong the suspense. Now with the parallel world storyline, the original idea of world wide conspiracy seems to be forgotten. Why were all these crimes committed? For what purpose? I don’t think we’ll see an answer to these questions soon.
I hated “Lady in the Water” (just $42 mil in the US), but in case you are interested check it out on Amazon.com by clicking this link.
I have nothing positive to say about this urban fantasy creation. At the movie theatre showing this movie, people in the audience were actually laughing in the most inappropriate places. The movie was really really bad.
“The Happening” did better financially than “Lady in the Water” bringing over $64 mil in the US. Some people ridiculed the idea of the movie, but I liked the unseen menace and the apocalyptic feel of the film. Mark Wahlberg was excellent in his usual stoic role. Who else by M. Night would think up of Nature as the villain in the story? The guy is certainly inventive.
Buy “The Happening” on Amazon.com by clicking this link.
I did not watch “The Last Airbender”. Its story has no appeal for me. I know that this was one of the worst reviewed films in 2010.
For the proof of this claim read the article titled “Is Last Airbender the Worst Movie Ever?“.
Now back to the reason for this post.
“Devil” is a great movie. Originally I did not know how I would feel about watching 80min movie set entirely inside the elevator. However the director John Erick Dowdle widened the scope of the story by focusing on the troubled cop, played by Chris Messina, investigating a possible suicide in the same high-rise building. So what we get is the storyline with people trapped inside the elevator and cop’s investigation into the suicide. Two storylines quickly converge. The film was pleasantly dark with rainy bleak weather providing a nice counterpoint to the bleakness of the story. Each of the characters was well developed and I kept wondering which one is the Devil, looking from face to face. There were plenty of red herrings provided in the script to make me wonder until then end. I thought the ending was a bit predictable, but I did not see it coming. I only recognized a few of the actors featured in the movie. For me it featured the cast of mostly unknowns.
Matt Craven was the only actor I saw in more than one film before. He was in “A Few Good Men” as Lt Dave Spradling.
Click this link to buy “A Few Good Men” on Amazon.com.
He also had a small part in “Public Enemies” starring Johnny Depp.
Click this link to buy “Public Enemies” on Amazon.com.
Overall I give “Devil” film 4 out of 5 stars. It was enjoyable, suspensful and scary at times.