Five people with curious backgrounds are trapped in a skyscraper elevator. One of them may be the devil. Can any of them get out alive? Mourning Det. Bowden (Chris Messina) arrives on the scene to try and rescue the victims trapped in a predicament that quickly evolves into a homicide case as the supernatural enacts its vengeance on guilty souls.
Devil unfortunately was met with a dismal box-office reception in theaters. Could this be attributed to the reputation of Producer M. Night Shyamalan (who also receives a story credit) whose career continues to dive? Many were duped by the marketing into thinking the Shamster directed this, and that may have impacted the film’s potential and credibility. The actual director, John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) actually delivers a swift and engaging 80-minute horror film that consistently provides great character drama, classic whodunit mystery, all enveloped in a slick supernatural package.
I have minor criticisms involving how some of that supernatural ‘knowledge’ gets played out through a security guard character watching the murderous madness unfold. It feels very Shyamalan-esque to have the devil’s playtime story spoon-fed to the audience through a character who knows everything about the situation, especially when it would be much wiser to simply leave that explanation out entirely. The audience is smart enough to know the devil can be up to no good.
Luckily that complaint is small in comparison to what this overlooked and underrated horror gem has to offer. Ignore what you think you might know about the film. It’s a doozy of a little shocker and a very entertaining supernatural thriller from beginning to end—the best film Shyamalan never directed.
Last 5 posts by Matt V
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