Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Devil

Five strangers walk into an office building and get stuck on an elevator. It is soon revealed that this is not an ordinary elevator maintenance issue, but that there are much darker forces at work.

"Devil" is the first film in M. Night Shyamylan's series of films entitled "The Night Chronicles". These are films that he has written the story for, but are not directing. And boy did he start his chronicles out with a bang. This is a thriller that sunk its hooks into me from the beginning and totally drug me around for its entire length. If there were ever a way to re-legitimize himself in the eyes of the public, "Devil" is it. Even though he did not direct it, this feels like some of Shyamylan's best talents at work.

This is a film that takes the "less is more" philosophy and wears it as a badge of honor. The story is simple, character backstories are just fleshed out enough for us on a need to know basis and the scares are all left to play out in the theater of the mind. I usually am not one for horror films as they usually do not scare me, but everytime the lights in the elevator went off I was terrified about what would be seen when the lights came back on and the results were usually far worse than I could have imagined with some of the craziest kills I have seen in a long time. Yet, this is a fairly tame PG-13 film that I would recommend for anyone looking for a good ride

While "Devil" is a certainly an entertaining film, on a spiritual level it is extremely challenging. I do not talk much about my faith in my reviews, but "Devil" is a film I believe all Christians should see. I would love to see what kind of discussions can rise out of the end of the film.

From the opening, and extremely unsettling shot of an upside down Philadelphia skyline, "Devil" drew me into its chilling "What if?" fable and left me feeling uneasy and ravenous for discussion after its closing scenes. "Devil" is a great little thriller with a deceptively simple set-up and complex payoff.

My rating: 7.5/10

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