Devil Review(2.5 of 5)
Devil is M Knight Shyamalan’s best attempt to recapture his golden touch of his past efforts, but in the end doesn’t quite make it to the promised land. I reneged on my proclamation to avoid M. Night flicks of the future. But I rethought that and gave this one a shot. He’s not quite into Tim Burton territory yet. He’s on his way, though.
The film is fairly simple: 5 strangers get trapped on a high rise elevator. Bad things start to happen to them whenever the lights go out. A superstitious security guard begins to think the bad happenings are the work of Satan, hence the title. It also involves a cop whose family was killed in a ‘hit and run’ where the offender left an apology note. That’s not going to have any significance is it? There are some things that I was betting on before going in (as you also probably did).
Since this is a Shyamalan flick, either the least likely person will be the Devil or it will be a feint for the audience to lock onto and it will turn out to not be the Devil at all. I also figured there would be religious overtones and that each person had done something wrong to have gotten onto that express elevator to Hell.
Sure enough, there is the Devil and it is the person that I knew it would be. The resolution to this was also exactly as I knew it would be. That’s disappointing. M. Night still knows how to build suspense and he is good for at least one good creepy moment per film.
He at least delivers on that regard here. The story, however, still has gaping holes like all of his other failures. It states assumptions that you have to buy into and they cost really expensive if you know what I mean.
I wish this had succeeded. Shyamalan delivered 3 GREAT films back to back to back at one time and I still think he has the potential in him. But his return to high quality films won’t start here. It is watchable, but that’s all.
If you’re thinking about viewing this, I would STRONGLY suggest something else. If you haven’t seen The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable or Signs, then run away from this and go watch those. If you have, watch them again or watch a good horror flick that you haven’t seen like An American Werewolf In London, The Shining, the Omen or something like that. Devil is not COMPLETELY terrible, but you won’t be missing a thing if you don’t see it. 2.5 of 5.