Thursday, October 21, 2010
A smart marketing campaign tells you this film is "from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan" so of course you are mildly interested since he has done good work in the past. However, while he wrote the story, he neither wrote the screenplay or directed the film. You would think in the hands of others, his material (which always starts out strong) would not fall apart at the end. "Devil" is a silly premise that is well executed and while it doesn't completely fall apart, the ending could have been stronger.
The story concerns five people trapped in the elevator of a high-rise office building and the various people trying to get them out. We learn early on that one of them is the devil in disguise. What works best here is the lack of superstar casting. You will recognize most of the cast but they are not your typical "A" actors and for that reason alone, the film will keep you guessing as the bodies begin to pile up.
The camerawork is very well done and has some unique perspectives. In particular, the opening credits disorient you right from the start. Keeping most of the action within the tight confines of the elevator, the camera keeps things fresh as we view everything from different angles and monitors.
In the end, this is just an extended "Twilight Zone" episode with all it's morality. A more exciting ending would have taken it to another level.