Devil

It turns out that there was another M. Night Shyamalan movie this year besides The [apparently horrible] Last Airbender. Devil had very little of his touch, though; only the story concept was his, with both script and direction handed out elsewhere. I honestly don’t have an opinion on whether that’s particularly good or bad, though I will say that it was less overwrought than, for example, The Happening. It was extremely religious, which is another of his hallmarks, though I suppose with a title like that it is to be expected here. The premise is simple and more than enough to determine if it will hold your interest: a group of people are on a malfunctioning elevator when suddenly bad things start to happen, including an eventual belief that one of the people trapped on the elevator is the devil, tormenting people for their sins even before they are dead.

On the one hand, I felt like a lot of what happened outside the elevator was fluff to pad out the movie and could have been cut, up to and including a last moment shock reveal that was neither shocking nor revelatory to me, despite that I had not figured out the “twist” ahead of time or anything like that. But then again, it’s an 80 minute movie, even padded. It was good enough for what it was, I guess, but I think I have to be disappointed by the fact that not nearly enough energy was spent on script and face time in the elevator itself, because, violent deviltry in an enclosed space, with no way to know who to trust? That sounds like an incredible premise to me, yet I don’t feel like it’s what I actually got.

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