Monday, 20 September 2010

Devil (dir. John Erick Dowdle, 2010)

'Devil' is the first of three films that will make up 'The Night Chronicles', three supernatural stories from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan. Admittedly the once destined for greatness auteur's name doesn't fill one with excitement like it once did but his new project 'Devil' is worth the price of an admission...'The Happening' this is not!

With 'The Night Chronicles' Shyamalan has taken a step back and is only acting as producer, 'Devil' is a story Shyamalan wrote but the final screenplay is not his. Stepping into the director's chair on this occasion is 'Quarantine' director John Erick Dowdle.

The story is simple, five strangers get trapped in a lift together, bit by bit it is revealed that their chance meeting is more connected and thought out than just mere chance...oh and one of them is the devil himself.

The story opens up with a disorienting title sequence Ala 'Panic Room' which takes us to the cursed office building where the demonic shenanigans will take place. Through the effective use of a long shot we are introduced to all five characters to see how they all come to be trapped in the dreaded Hellivator.

The film doesn't push the boundaries of the horror genre nor does it try to, here we have a supernatural suspense film that does exactly what it sets out to do. Despite ticking off most of the cliches there is plenty for horror fans to enjoy here, people familiar with 'The Omen' should be able to second guess some of the climaxes but despite this where the film is heading is left up in the air until the very end.

The fact that Shyamalan's name is attached to this will set audiences searching for 'the twist', there is no big twist in this, plot turns and surprises yes but nothing riveting like 'The Sixth Sense' or frustrating like 'The Village'. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

M. Night Shyamalan's answer to 'The Twilight Zone' or 'Hitchcock Presents' as had a good start with 'Devil'. The next chapter in the chronicles is meant to be a supernatural drama centered on a court jury and the third a loose sequel to Shyamalan's 2002 hit 'Unbreakable'. Lets just hope that he has some more tricks up his sleeve and doesn't let the series frizzle out like his career.
Whether we can be proud of Shyamalan again is yet to be confirmed, after all he does have a lot of making up to do after 'The Last Airbender' and 'The Happening' but 'Devil' is a promising start to better things...we can only hope!

1 comment:

  1. You've made me quite interested in seeing this movie now :-)