Newest Review: ... of having untoward intentions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Devil is one of these films which I expected very little ... more
What the Devil was he thinking with this?
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Not a lot really, although there's promise
Disadvantages: Slow and boring, not so good acting, rather weak and lacking in substance
M Night Shyamalan's films seem to be a bit of miss and miss with the majority of his audience. His latest offering, Devil, focuses on four people trapped in a lift in an office block. When there are catastrophic events outside, a police officer is despatched to investigate, but instead he finds himself facing the distinct possibility that one of the people in the lift is the devil himself, assuming another's body to wreak havoc and kill the others. Can he work out which one it is before it's too late?
This shows promise nearly all the way through. Very much on a budget and with a B movie feel to things, the acting is decent enough, and promises to move towards great things. Sadly, it doesn't really deliver, perhaps explaining why its cast have reached the age they are without particular recognition. There are certainly a few times during the film when we're almost reminded that this is a B style presentation.
That's not to say that the special effects team have any less fun with them. There's some really good costume and blood work going on, especially with the images of dead people and the occasional flashes where the security screen shows a momentary image of something that almost makes you want to go back and pause it at the right time to see just exactly what the director wants to show you.
Shyamalan has an interesting concept, and one that is right up my street, to be honest. The sort of mystery thriller much like the twisting 'Identity' starring John Cusack, predictable yet no less fun. Here, it's really hard to predict who is the devil, if indeed he's in there in the first place. I was very impressed with the sinister mystery side of things, and for a while the intrigue rather got the better of me, changing my mind on a regular basis. The problem is though that the lift is tiny, there are only four people, and that all of their hidden secrets are rather obvious and boring. There's just not enough substance to things to make it riveting for anywhere near the running time, which itself is only around the hour and a half mark. I did find myself clock watching and wondering when the next thing was going to happen, and it did seem as if there was more padding than there should have been.
I'm finding that the quirkiness and mystery that surrounds Shyamalan's films isn't always enough to sustain interest. There's always a certain amount of promise, and I would by no means say that this is a complete disaster, but it just doesn't hold my attention for long enough, or promote the intrigue side of things in a deep and involving enough way. The scope and promise is just never fulfilled, and for this reason it's not a film I can recommend. There's a strong possibility of getting bored just watching this, although I always feel I have to watch a film all the way through no matter how bad it gets. The cutting room floor should have been a bit fuller with this one, and the director should have given us something more in terms of substance. Not a fan.
Summary: Poor Shyamalan film about four people in a lift, one of whom may be the devil