Everything happens...

"Don't say for a reason."

"I wasn't. Just... everything happens."

"Not to me."

(I just had to include that, because it's all I could think of every time I saw the trailer.)

Devil tells the story of five elevator passengers who get stuck together, and one of them just so happens to be the devil in disguise. We have Mechanic (Logan Marshall-Green), Old Woman (Jenny O'Hara), Young Woman (Bojana Novakovic), Guard (Bokeem Woodbine), and Salesman (Geoffrey Arend). On the outside, however, we have a somewhat depressed Detective Bowden (Chris Messina), as well as two head security guys, Lustig (Matt Craven) and Ramirez (Jacob Vargas). And together, those three must find a way to get the people out of the elevator... and the urgency hits as soon as the passengers start dying.

First and foremost, we're given that this movie is "from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan," which at this point, probably isn't smart publicizing. After the terrible adaptation of The Last Airbender, not to mention the critically panned movies to come before it, M. Night hasn't been having a good streak lately. But then this movie started to get some decent reviews. I'd even heard this might be a step back in the right direction. And you know what? I might have to agree with them.

This movie is by no means great. But it is enjoyable and slightly better than average. Yes, the entire movie relies on a twist, and that twist is awfully easy to figure out. However, like with A Perfect Getaway, I found that despite the easiness of the twist, they still made you question whether or not your guess was actually right or not. I continually found myself wondering if, just maybe, it was one of the other characters. Also, M. Night was smart to come up with a second twist to catch you off guard, as you're so busy trying to figure out who the devil is. Now, I've always thought M. Night has had good concepts, just poor execution. He kinda proves that in this. He didn't write or direct it--just came up with the story and produced it--and it turned out better than any of his movies in quite a few years.

Now, like I said, it's not perfect. I found the dialogue to be hammy and forced at times, trying to shove the whole religious aspect in your face (and I like religious/supernatural thrillers like this). Also, there's an occasional voice-over narration that the movie could have done without past the beginning. It was fine setting it up near the beginning, and even closing it out at the end. But there were times in the middle where it's just like "yeah, OK, the devil is bad... we get it." But the worst thing is that these voice-over moments were essentially spoilers, telling you what is probably going to happen in the not-too-distant future.

The acting bounces between good and annoying. The security guard in the elevator reminded me way too much of a serious Tracy Morgan for his own good. The young woman is just kinda weird in her acting. You know that part of the trailer where she screams "turn on the lights!," but in a really strange-sounding way? It's like that, even during the times she's not screaming. However, it's probably because she has a foreign accent and is trying to do American, and it just comes off odd. Everybody else is fine. The detective is probably the best of the bunch, which is good considering he's basically the main character. In the elevator, the "mechanic" character is probably the best of the bunch--which, again, is probably good considering he has the most mystery and focus placed on him.

I've read in some reviews that there was too much blood. Those people are crazy. There was hardly any blood in the movie. I mean, it was there, but it was nothing. Even a character who gets stabbed in the neck has less blood than most other movies where a character gets stabbed in the neck (and no gushing or anything, and no close-up, either). So whoever said that is insane.

Overall, it's s good little claustrophobic thriller with a religious/supernatural twist (oh yeah, and there's a funny bit of dialogue, purposeful or not, where one character calls another character--literally--a 'twist'. I almost felt that as an in-joke from Shyamalan). Some of the religious stuff is a bit too forced, mostly thanks to the Ramirez character and the voice-over narration (which I believe is done by the Ramirez character). But there's some good suspense and it keeps you guessing, despite it being obvious. Add in a decent ending with, sure, kind of a cheesy moral, and you get a pretty good little flick. So yeah, M. Night, you are taking baby steps back to some good things.

I Am McLovin!


  1. As you know, I just got done seeing this. And I agree with (I think) everything you said.

    This felt like a Night tale of old, as if it had come out between Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. It (rightfully) has it stink all over it, right down to the setting (of course it has to be in Philly). And even though it's not a surprise at all when el diablo reveals itself (woohoo, I called it!), there is still that other twist, which should have been obvious, but was played well enough that I didn't see it.

    Oh, and I had a group of 5 teenage girls and one teenage boy directly in front of me for the showing. To think, I might've rather been in that elevator. At least they weren't my students or anything. ;)

  2. Yeah... the second twist should have been obvious, but the movie's pace played it very well so that you don't really see it coming. I think that bumped it up a few notches for me.


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