UK Release date: 17th September 2010
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 23rd July 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
The story revolves around a legend about the devil coming to Earth in human form to torment his victims before taking their souls. Now if you buy into that then I guess you’ll find this film a lot creepier than I did. I know that M. Night Shyamalan has had a few duds recently and I guess he was hoping for a little redemption with this one. Well, it’s a step in the right direction, but there are many steps to go yet before he’s going to convince me he’s back on form. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
After a suicide at the same building, five people get on an elevator which gets stuck between floors. They are a mechanic, an old woman, a young woman, a security guard and a salesman. The building security men know about it and send a maintenance man to try and sort it out. There is something sinister going on and every time the lights blink out in the lift, something bad happens. One of them is killed in what seems to be a bizarre accident and the police are called. Detective Bowden and his partner Detective Markowitz arrive on the scene and take control of the situation. The Fire Department come in but don’t seem to be able to gain entry to the lift shaft; they will have to cut through the wall. All this time strange and frightening things are happening in the lift as one by one, the occupants are killed off. Who will be left…? Who is the Devil? Guess I’d better leave it there.
This film reminded me very much of the little known 2008 film Blackout starring Amber Tamblyn and Aidan Gillen (my review here). Devil, however does not have the claustrophobic feel of that one and I think that doesn’t really work in its favour. All the performances were ok, with Chris Messina doing a good job as Detective Bowden. Also worthy of note were; Logan Marshall-Green as the mechanic, Jenny O'Hara as the old woman, Bojana Novakovic as the young woman, Bokeem Woodbine as the security guard and Geoffrey Arend as the salesman.
I have read that it’s easy to spot who the devil is from the very start, but I didn’t try to guess. I had my suspicions that changed as the story unfolded, but the reveal did surprise me somewhat. The opening credits I found a little disturbing, flying upside down over Philadelphia is not very pleasant. The music was great though, reminded me of a classic Hitchcock thriller. I guess this one didn’t quite live up to expectations. Although the level of tension is kept pretty high throughout, it didn’t really work for me. Not that it’s a bad movie, it’s well produced, well shot, there are no faults with the acting or direction; I just didn’t buy into the concept behind it all. Over all, Not Recommended.
My Score: 5.6/10
IMDb Score: 6.4/10 (31,493 votes when this review was written).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52/100 (83 reviews counted when this review was written).