Devil

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle
  • Cast:Matt Craven, Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic, Jacob Vargas, Bokeem Woodbine
  • Release Date:December 02, 2010
  • Distributor:Universal
  • Running time:80 minutes
  • Film Worth:$10.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Despite a terrific premise and strong performances, this chiller is let down by its ineffective build-up and trite conclusion.

1db2de20e20c659ae3e4.jpg

Devil has a terrific premise. In a scenario designed to bring out everyone's inner claustrophobe, five strangers become trapped in an elevator. One of their number is The Devil. As the body count mounts, and the group's initial irritation turns to terror, it's up to the viewer to guess who the (ultimate) bad guy is.

Devil is the result of a decision by prolific writer/director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village) to have some of his surplus stories developed into features by up-and-coming filmmakers. Director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) and screenwriter Brian Nelson (Hard Candy) were handed the first concept, and have created an interesting, if not entirely successful, film.

Stylistically, it's impressive. Beginning with a soaring opening sequence of a city upside down, it simply but effectively creates a sense of normality being turned on its head, and of events slipping out of control. The sense of helplessness is continued throughout the film with vertiginous shots down elevator shafts and from the roof of a skyscraper. 

The performances are uniformly good, with the elevator scenes enabling tight ensemble work (it's nice to see Australian Bojana Novakovic doing her bit), as well as the requisite muzak gags. Some of the completely darkened scenes in the elevator do come across rather like a radio play, but that's a minor quibble.

Devil's main flaw is a lack of build-up. It's threatening and ominous so early in the piece that events are forced to escalate fairly quickly, which leaves a large part of the film feeling dramatically uniform.

The plot is wrapped up rather tritely as well, though it's worth bearing in mind that this is the first in a series of films that Shyamalan has titled The Night Chronicles, a name as suggestive of fantasy as it is of horror.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route
‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route

The Australian drama starring Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson opts for a small theatrical release before hitting home platforms.

St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership
St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership

The short film festival has partnered with Palm Springs International Shortfest.

Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’
Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’

With buzz building around ‘The Rover’, the Aussie filmmaker has reportedly already been nabbed to helm a new pic for Plan B, with Pitt rumoured to also star.

Film Festivals Australia Launched!
Film Festivals Australia Launched!

The film festival calendar is an increasingly busy one, and Metro Screen has launched a new resource to keep audiences looped in, and aid festival patrons.