Monday, September 27, 2010

Evil Night: Review of DEVIL by M. Night Shyamalan

“The first in a series of collaborations from Media Rights Capital and M. Night Shyamalan comes in the form of Devil, a supernatural thriller based on an idea by the enigmatic filmmaker. Going off of a script by Brian Nelson is Quarantine director John Erick Dowdle, who handles producing duties with his brother Drew.”

I thought it odd that I couldn’t find any real synopsis of the movie although there were the teaser trailers. While it’s nice to know who wrote and directed the movies, as a connoisseur of horror and writer, I prefer getting a few details of the storyline.

All right, here’s what I discovered after watching the movie. Five people, who we later discover have unscrupulous backgrounds of sorts, get stuck in an elevator of a high rise. The lights go out intermittently and each time it does bad things happen. Legend has it that the devil takes on human form and when he’s ready to take someone, he likes an audience. (Yet another thing I have in common with the sultan of evil).

At first I wondered how the movie’s premise could hold my attention, but the collaboration between M. Night Shyamalan and Brian Nelson is good enough to keep me interested in the outcome of the characters because they were wise enough to show us the trapped victims’ rescuers struggles to set them free.

While the story was interesting, the low budget affected what I term sudden jump factor. In other words, how many times did the movie make me jump with surprise? This is usually because of sharp camera angles and a blast of music. The answer is maybe once. I can’t remember.

The movie DEVIL is definitely soft horror. Although there’s blood, the emphasis is not so much on gore as is the story. I like movies that tell a good story. This one did quite a bit of telling and not enough showing which is strange for a motion picture flick.

I would have liked to see bits and pieces of the character’s lives, particularly the people trapped in the elevator. Instead of being shown their lives, the narrator tells us. Eventually, we discover the movie centers on one horrible event from the past and two characters. I just wish the movie was handled differently. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to add a little entertainment to a boring evening, I recommend you watch the movie.

See you on the dark side.

Nomar Knight

Here's the link to the movie sight for DEVIL


  1. Tell not show? We're not even supposed to do that in writing. Although, the lack of gore appeals to me.

  2. Well M, more specifically, I guess there was a time issue involved so there was quite a bit of narration, more than I'd like for a movie.

  3. Interesting review. It's so hard to find great horror flicks these days. Not sure if I would prefer the narrator approach of describing the characters lives. Lately I've been leaning a lot toward mystery thrillers...

  4. Ah yes, nothing like a good mystery thriller to get the heart pumping to make us realize we are alive and having fun. Thanks for commenting L. Eleana Johnson. ;-)