Devil Review

Devil

Released: 2010
Director: John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, The Poughkeepsie Tapes)
Screenplay by: Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy)
Story by: M. Night Shyamalan (directed The Sixth Sense, The Last Airbender)
Cast:
Chris Messina (Julie and Julia, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Six Feet Under)
Caroline Dhavernas (The Switch, Passchendaele)
Bokeem Woodbine (Saving Grace, Ray, The Rock)

I had no burning desire to see this movie, but ended up going to a free screening.  Any film boasting M. Night Shyamalan’s name is already a turn off.  A reminder of a director who started off so promising but now is only known for churning out one lousy, pretentious movie after another.

Reviews have been moderate to fail for this film so I went in with low expectations. However, I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  A simple story of 5 people being trapped in an elevator as the devil picks them off one by one is elevated by solid pacing, entertaining tension, and a great score.  Not breaking any new territory, it’s still a fun ride if you let yourself become immersed – the payoff is some good jumps and laughs despite some cheesy religious foreshadowing.  The script is solid enough with decent characters.  Credit goes to Brian Nelson who also wrote the excellent film Hard Candy – starring a pre-Juno Ellen Page.  My highest compliment would be that Devil is much better than any recent M. Night Shyamalan film.

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