Film Review | Devil

Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem.

Devil (2010)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Starring: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Logan Marshall-Green

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Released: September 2010

Plot: A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.

These days when I see M. Night Shyamalan on a film poster, I no longer get the same excitement as when he had burst onto the scene with Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and even The Village, since then his films have for the most part felt cheesy or simply boring, luckily however when it came to Devil, Shyamalan chose to hand over directorial duties to another and although the film might have missed out on the extra exposure his name would bring, it gained so much more.

Matt Craven, Chris Messina, and Jacob Vargas in Devil (2010)

The film opens with an awesome upside-down aerial view of Philadelphia, throwing the audience off-kilter from the very start, before introducing us to a rather simple premise: when five people trapped on a lift start to die one by one, a detective has to get to the bottom of who is the killer and deal with the idea that one might be the killer, coming to collect their souls.

A confined space like a lift works surprisingly well in this movie and creates an intense and claustrophobic atmosphere, playing on everyone’s worst fears when travelling in one, while the scenes outside of the lift do well to keep the tension building and make you truly fearful for not only the inhabitants of the lift but also the rescuers.

There are some things that I found didn’t work with the poor character development the biggest issue. Sure I understand that the four are set up as bad people or to at least have a dark past, but none of them felt bad enough to warrant a visit from the Devil, with the only character given any real development being Detective Bowden (Messina). With this movie being only an hour and twenty minutes there is definitely room to have expanded the story and give more of the characters further backstory.

Devil may not be perfect, but it is a good thriller that mixes in religion and fun time that keeps you guessing right up until the enjoyable twist ending that makes you watch back more than once to see if the film gave any hints.

4 Panda

If you liked: Knock KnockSe7enMeet Joe Black

19 comments

  1. I really liked this movie, but I’m a sucker for anything he does. The only movie he’s ever done that I didn’t like was The Last Airbender. He butchered that story.

  2. Woof! This type of movie would scare the crap out of me, won’t lie to you! I have to give the writer’s credit though! They have such a small space to work with, that they certainly need to be creative and think outside of the box (as everyone is trapped in a box? lol).

  3. Not my type of film, but I would say that the writers were creative and have made it impossible for me to even consider an elevator for the time being….

  4. This movie was actually insane. I really loved the story and how it all takes place in an elevator.

  5. i haven’t even heard of this movie before. it sounds really cool. i will have to check it out more.

  6. There is something special in every Manoj Night Shyamalan’s movie and this movie is not an exception. It’s a solid thriller which keeps everyone on the edge of the seat for 1 hour and 20 minutes of running time.

  7. I don’t really like scary movies or thrillers! They give me nightmares. This is however and extremely interesting concept to explore.

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