Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror,Mystery,Thrillers Devil – (Or, There Is A God!)

Devil – (Or, There Is A God!)

For me, M. Night Shyamalan used to be associated with well-written storylines, clever plot twists and atmospheric films that could shock whilst intrigue the viewer. Then something went terribly wrong.

He started off so well with The Sixth Sense, and following up with Unbreakable and Signs, I thought there was no stopping him. Even when The Village was released, I defended him when friends of mine criticised the film and said he was losing his edge. Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of The Lady In The Water, and the less said about The Happening the better. And from what I hear, The Last Airbender is one of the worst films of the year, and I wasn’t really attracted to it before it was panned in the reviews.

Then I saw the trailer for Devil, and I was intrigued again. It looked like an edgy claustrophobic thriller with a pinch of the supernatural, and I thought: “This could be quite good”. Then I saw the words: “FROM THE MIND OF M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN” and I thought, “Oh well, from the way he’s been working recently, it’ll be rubbish.”

However, the more I read up on the plot and how it will be the start of a series of films, all leading off from this, I thought I would give it (and M.) another chance.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The film centers on five people who get into an office building’s elevator, only for it to stall 20 floors up. Oh, and one of these five people is the Devil. Silly premise right? But it works.

Despite it being 80 minutes long, Devil manages to flesh out the characters whilst constantly leaving a ‘whodunnit?’ feeling in the back of your mind. Knowing that one of the characters is the Devil, you begin to notice numerous red herrings that the director chose to include to throw people of the trail, or sly nods to the audience, such as the characters wearing red, apart from one; the number 6 being featured prominently; or the overtly touchy nature of some of the characters. Little touches like that make this film stand out from the usual horror films released these days that seem to care only about shocking the audience rather than building suspense.

Don’t get me wrong, the film has it’s bad points; such as a bit of cheesy acting from the relative unknown actors; a few obvious and unanswered plot points; as well as an unnecessary social commentary towards the Devil’s motives. However, Devil is an original film, from the mind of Shyamalan I remind you, that didn’t disappoint this viewer. A rare find in the current climate. I, for one, am looking forward to the continuation of the story (rumoured to be called Twelve Strangers) and I recommend you take a gamble as I did.

Rating – 8/10

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