Unlike most people, I still look forward to M Night Shyamalan movies — even if he just produced it and came up with the idea for the story.
Yes, Devil is neither written nor directed by Shyamalan, but it is still very much his project. It is the first film of the Night Chronicles trilogy, which deals with supernatural themes in modern society. Without giving too much away, it’s about a bunch of strangers who get stuck in a skyscraper elevator, and one of them may or may not be the devil.
Sounds like a gimmicky film, and it kind of is, but Devil is better than I expected considering the low budget and the narrow premise. There is an inevitability about the progression of the plot, but I was nevertheless kept guessing until the end — and knowing Shyamalan, there is always a clever “twist” or “revelation” of some sort to look forward to.
That said, potential viewers of Devil need to keep their expectations in check, for this is really not much more than an average film backed by an intriguing idea. My biggest problem with the film is that none of the characters felt very convincing. The situation, the reactions and the dialogue don’t feel very authentic, and as a result the film never becomes as scary as it should be.
Nevertheless, at a tight 80-minutes, Devil is a crafty little thriller that can be enjoyable if in the right mood.
3 out of 5 stars