Devil

September 17th, 2010








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Devil

Still of John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle in DevilStill of Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic and Bokeem Woodbine in DevilChris Messina at event of DevilStill of Bojana Novakovic in DevilStill of Bojana Novakovic and Bokeem Woodbine in DevilStill of Logan Marshall-Green in Devil

Plot
A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.3/10 (46,263 voted)

Critic's Score: 44/100

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Stars: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine

Storyline
In Philadelphia, Detective Bowden is still grieving for his wife and son, killed in a hit-and-run five years ago. When someone jumps from a skyscraper onto a truck, Bowden is sent to investigate. Meanwhile, five strangers are trapped in an elevator in the building where the jumper committed suicide. The communication radio in the elevator is broken but the guards, Lustig and Ramirez, observe the individuals via CCTV as events unfold. Tensions run high among those trapped, so Lustig calls the police and Detective Bowden assumes the case. Without being able to contact the individuals, he tries to work out who they are, but he can only account for four of them. Time is running out for the occupants of the elevator, as Bowden realizes he has to get them out quickly.

Writers: Brian Nelson, M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:
Chris Messina - Detective Bowden
Logan Marshall-Green - Mechanic
Jenny O'Hara - Old Woman
Bojana Novakovic - Young Woman
Bokeem Woodbine - Guard
Geoffrey Arend - Salesman
Jacob Vargas - Ramirez
Matt Craven - Lustig
Joshua Peace - Detective Markowitz (as Josh Peace)
Caroline Dhavernas - Elsa Nahai
Joe Cobden - Dwight
Zoie Palmer - Cheryl
Vincent Laresca - Henry
Rudy Webb - Old Janitor
Craig Eldridge - Donnelly

Taglines: Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem.



Details

Official Website: Official site | Official site [Spain] |

Release Date: 17 September 2010

Filming Locations: Bay Adelaide Centre - 333 Bay St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $12,289,375 (USA) (19 September 2010) (2809 Screens)

Gross: $33,583,175 (USA) (14 November 2010)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director Trademark: [M. Night Shyamalan] [Philadelphia, PA] The film takes place in Philadelphia, and the detective is from the Philadelphia Police Department.

Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When the crashed car with the cop's family is shown, the kid was thrown through the windshield (there is a hole), although the car was hit on its side.

Quotes:
[first lines]
Ramirez: [voiceover] When I was a child, my mother would tell me a story about how the Devil roams the Earth. Sometimes, she said, he would take human form so he could punish the damned on Earth before claiming their souls. The ones he chose would be gathered together and tortured as he hid amongst them, pretending to be one of them. I always believed my mother was telling me an old wives' tale.



User Review

A Nutshell Review: Devil

Rating: 8/10

Maybe it's because M Night Shyamalan is finally coming to terms that he no longer is the toast of the town, that he has decided to focus his energies on producing and writing suspenseful thrillers for his project known as The Night Chronicles, with the first film Devil off the blocks, and others to come including his original story idea from his planned sequel to Unbreakable. We know how Shyamalan of late likes to direct and include himself as one amongst the cast, though this time it probably took a lot of effort to vacate that director's chair and quash that acting bug, to allow someone else to helm what is essentially a film that's right up Shyamalan's own territory. It's almost like putting a candy jar in front of a kid, but not allowing him access at all.

Enter directors Drew and John Erick Dowdle, who I thought made a decent effort in bringing to life Shyamalan's story set around the confines of a claustrophobic lift, where five strangers happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, each of them being trapped inside the lift and sharing some common traits that will be revealed as the story wore on. The film addresses the notion that nothing is ever coincidental, especially if powerful negative forces like the devil decide to walk the earth and claim a few souls, while at the same time having fun toying with their prey. Weaving in a folk tale like what he did for Lady in the Water, Shyamalan's tale here involves the full works of how the devil operates, and comes with a method to defeat the supernatural forces seen in the film.

The directors managed to steer clear of the usual clichés for a fright fest, and rightly so as well because this is not that film. Granted that there are a few well crafted scenes to suggest that there are spiritual elements involved in how the victims - a mechanic (Logan Marshall- Green), an old woman (Jenny O'Hara), a young woman (Bojana Novakovic), a guard (Bokeem Woodbine) and a salesman (Geoffrey Arend) - the real draw is how visually arresting this film is in capturing fear from within close quarters. The opening sweeping shot of the city of Philadelphia upside down will bring about some disorientation, before reducing that spatial distance down to within the lift, mirroring that view through a CCTV camera back to the building's security control room, which to me is where some of the best instances of the film shines through.

I'd actually preferred what went on outside of that lift, since what's going to happen within is more like a done deal, with one of the five already revealed through marketing that he/she is someone who doesn't belong. There's more fun in following Detective Bowden (Chris Messina), who has to make sense of what's going on, balancing his deductive prowess against something that cannot be explained by logic, and watching how his due diligence and process get blown to smithereens when at first he thinks this is a simple open and shut situation, until he realizes that he's up against something that's inexplicable. It's one thing to swagger in with a plan, before fear sets in that one can be so helpless when trying to save the lives of others.

The strength of the film lies in Shyamalan's story, which is deceptively simple, yet highly effective in weaving all the plot threads together, and the linking up of the characters so crucial in providing a satisfying finale. Fans of Shyamalan's stories will find that he still has more than enough gas in the tank to come up with suspenseful tales that others now have a chance to helm on the big screen, something like what Luc Besson does these days. My interest is now piqued to see how the rest of the Chronicles will present themselves.




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