There are some good things that go along with the horror movie Devil and then of course there are some bad things about the film as well. One of the good things that go along with this movie is that even though M. Night Shymalan’s name is featured on the film; it didn’t (like most of “his” films) end up becoming a horrible movie that I immediately regretted wasting money on, surprisingly it was a pretty enjoyable movie. The bad things that go along with DEVIL is the fact it definitely will not be the best horror film that you have seen even with all of the terror/horror elements and that creepy “trapped in a small space” setting, it doesn’t end up becoming all that scary.
DEVIL starts off with the voice-over of a man telling the story his mom told him about how the Devil/Satan wonders around the planet and will occasionally put together a group of “evil” people and will proceed to torture and eventually kill them which will then lead to him taking their souls. This is basically the whole movie of DEVIL, a young detective does also get involved though, he has actually already endured hell after his wife and child were both killed in a hit and run, and the person who is the one who killed them is never caught. The officer is able to track a suicide to the same building where the five are trapped in the elevator. He uses all of his power to find a way to get to them from their claustrophobic environment and at the same time trying to find out who is responsible for killing them every time the elevator lights go dead. Something he does not consider is the fact that it is the Devil himself who is doing the killings.
So how does DEVIL succeed? This film is able to succeed with some viewers who are able to take all of the silliness that is brought to us in the film. Not trying to claim that the situation of being trapped in an elevator with the Devil is silly, but after you view the situation and come up with the conclusion that the Devil is actually on an elevator with people torturing and then killing them, it ends up becoming a little ridiculous. DEVIL latches on to that and even starts to toy around with hit in a pretty funny way. However, the thing that will draw people in to the movie is so they can find out who the Devil ends up being. We also see the police officer who lost his family trying to figure out who is the murderer, he doesn’t possibly believe it could be the Devil, this element of “who is it” is of course good for first time viewers and it does draw people in to watch it (once) but after you find out who the Devil is the film is not too enjoyable for a second viewing.
The acting is pretty good for a movie like this. Everybody gets a good share of their screen time; of course some get more than others do. Since I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, the only thing I will say about the folks trapped with the Devil is that they all put on a great performance of giving the “scared” look, you know about being in a small and sealed space with people mysteriously being killed around them, of course after the bodies start to pile up some characters are given more film time than the others will, so any picking out of specifics could start to sneak into spoiler territory.
For a movie that deals with the Devil who is slowly killing people in a sealed off elevator, I am pretty mad at the fact that the film is very low on the scare element. Actually one of the trailers or TV spots before the movie hit theaters had a much greater scare factor than anything I have seen in the actual movie. It tries on more than one occasion to deliver a cheap jump scare, but it delivers better results from the dark spaces than with annoying jump scares (which shows how “scary the film actually is).
As mentioned before the main piece that keeps this film entertaining is the all important question of who is the Devil. I can’t give such a spoiler because that is what gives the movie its edge. It can be said that you will not be able to guess who the Devil is, it comes as a pretty big surprise (you will have to watch the film to know why) and I have to admit that I could not even figure out who it was until the last second when it is revealed. The film gives a second or two of information to sink in right before the creepy eyes of the Devil are seen, try to take a mental picture because the “scary Devil” scenes don’t ever last too long.
If you pay attention you will be able to find Shyamalan’s fingerprints all over various scenes throughout the movie. Thankfully he is not the director of the movie and I do believe that DEVIL succeeds for the better without him as director. That being said DEVIL turns out to be a great one time viewing for dedicated horror fans and maybe everyone else who wants to watch an entertaining film, overall however, it just isn’t terrifying enough to deliver its full potential.
Source by Matt P Clark