Friday, March 18, 2011

Devil (2010)

As if things weren't bad enough when five strangers become trapped in a high-rise elevator together, they are about to get much worse when one of the passengers turns out to be the devil in disguise! What opens as a claustrophobic suspense film quickly degenerates into a trite, pretentious, and predictable shocker in 2010's DEVIL. It attempts to throw the audience off with its five suspicious characters, but the real killer is made obvious very early on. Unlike Rodrigo Cort├ęs' brilliant camera work in BURIED, director John Erick Dowdle doesn't even attempt to do anything unique with the elevator setting that would set it apart from other similar pictures like BLACKOUT. The moralistic undertones and religious narrative both feel forceful and out of place in the story. A few passable performances are not enough to draw any interest from the viewer. DEVIL poses as intellectual Horror, but it takes more than just slow pacing and a semi-coherent plot to impress modern audiences.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked DEVIL, check out:
IDENTITY, BLACKOUT, RED SANDS.

11 comments:

  1. I quite liked this Carl. I gave it a positive write up about a month ago. It was short, sharp, and to the point. It didn't drag or labour like Shyamalan's directorial efforts. It does get a little side tracked in quasi-mystical nonsense, but then that is Shyamalan's stock in trade, so one would expect that. But as far 'Elevator Horror' goes this isnt bad.

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  2. Perhaps if it were shortened even further and included as part of an omnibus feature I would have been more accepting of it, but I expected every move and I just grew tired watching this one Shaun. BLACKOUT was worse by my standards, but I would never come back to DEVIL.

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  3. I gave Devil a thumbs up review two or three posts back, mainly for saying its piece and getting out. At no point did I feel it was dragging, or that it was trying to be too clever for its own good (a particular annoyance of mine with a lot of horror/thriller type films). The religious overtones are fair game; to my mind, if you're going to make a movie with Satan, you're pretty much conceding his polar opposite exists somewhere.

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  4. Perhaps I am just embittered by the fact that the killer was so obvious from the start. It is so cliche to pick the least likely suspect, and the other characters were written so intentionally deviant in order to 'lose the scent.' There was never any surprise here for me, and Dowdle missed the opportunity to use the tired elevator setting in any creative way.

    PS - New viewers that havent seen the film - Dont watch it with the subtitles.. Each of the characters are named except the killer. Brilliant addition, DVD manufacturer!

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  5. I thought it was a quite tense and creepy horror flick, but I totally hated the stupid ending

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  6. I thought it was okay. Sure, the identity of our mystery guest was obvious to me from the get go; nonetheless I found it to be a passable way to blow an hour and whatever.

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  7. I liked this movie, oddly. And, I actually kinda thought I wouldn't. It's not totally stellar, but it's also not the piping bag of shit that The Happening is.


    LOL on the subtitles! Epic.

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  8. I might just be racist against elevator horror lol..

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  9. Despite the concise and slicing review here, I'm still compelled to watch this some time down the road.

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  10. This will likely be the only negative review you read on the film, so I say have at it Fox!

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  11. I think that the mystery angle is a deliberately misleading aspect of the story. It is the "MacGuffin" that seems important but is only a cover for the true substance of the piece. That is why it does not matter whether or not "whodunit" is obvious or not.

    Even the idea of the "devil" seems to me a false cover for the more thought-provoking ideas and dynamics involved.

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