As I said last week, I’m focused on vacation (I will be in Orlando before this posts) but I did carve out a couple hours to check out a new release. Some friends and I went to check out Devil, the new film co-written by film curse-word M. Night Shyamalan. Don’t let that scare you away from this film – the bulk of the story was written by Brian Nelson, the one responsible for Hard Candy.
Directed by John Erick Dowdle, director of Quarantine, Devil is the story of five people trapped in an express elevator and one of them may or may not be the devil. There are a couple familiar faces in this one. Logan Marshall-Green of 24 and Across the Universe is billed as “The Mechanic”, Bojana Novakovic from 30 Days of Night and Edge of Darkness plays “Young Woman”, Bokeem Woodbine from The Rock and Black Dynamite plays “Guard” and Geoffrey Arend from Super Troopers and The Ringer plays “The Salesman”.
Unfortunately, the generic characterizations don’t end with the names of the individuals on the elevator. Watching the entire scene is an ultra religious Hispanic guard named Ramirez, who knows what is going on because of stories his grandmother used to tell him as a child. It sounds a bit too familiar to me and I’d be willing to bet that is one element that Shyamalan contributed. Also listed under the cliché tab is the fact that the detective on the case is a recovering alcoholic that lost his wife and child in a traffic collision.
People in the elevator do die and there are a lot of coincidences that help get the lights out and that help disorient the viewer, but unfortunately, they feel too convenient. Some will, but I didn’t see either of the two pieces coming that comprise the twist at the end. In case some still want to see this, I won’t spoil it. If you want to know, feel free to e-mail me, the address is on the WWAM Podcast site, and I’ll lay the whole thing out for you.
How much would I pay to see this again? Out of $10 I would pay $4.50. This is one you can skip. Rent it if you’re curious. The thing that worries me the most is that this is listed under The Night Chronicles: 1. I guess Shymalan has more in store for us.
Jay Fralick is the co-host of the Wanna Watch a Movie? Podcast.
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