Devil (2010)

Five strangers become trapped on an elevator.  First, building maintenance tries to get them out but their efforts keep getting thwarted.  Eventually, the police are brought in the try and control the situation.  The people start dying and one of the people on the outside begins to guess that there’s more than meets the eye going on.

Problem number one: Shyamalan is known for his twist endings, but the surprise ending is largely taken off the table here.  In case the title doesn’t clue you in, one of the people on the elevator is the Devil.  That’s not really a spoiler because it becomes pretty obvious early on.  The fun is trying to guess who it is with a limited number of suspects.  As they start dying, the pool of suspects becomes smaller and that’s where the real suspense lies – that and the nagging question of whether anyone will survive.  The Devil may surprise some and there is a bit of misdirection, but the movie is pretty formulaic.

The real surprise here is that I kept watching and caring.  This is arguably a chamber piece, with the bulk of the action taking place in an elevator car.  The characters are necessarily shallow, the story is somewhat thin and the ending is the worst sort of cliche.  But somehow it works.  There’s no great story of triumph, it’s a “bad things happen” type of tale (and not even to good people here).  There’s an over-arcing narration about the Devil doing this from time to time and that’s largely how this feels: another day in the life of a Devil who gets bored from time to time and likes to jerk people around.

Overall a nice little suspense flick that isn’t going to spin your head, but will keep you entertained and watching.


Stars: 3.5/5



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