With Devil being a movie about fears, my biggest fear was that there was going to be some stupid twist at the end that would ruin it. The biggest fear for others is that with M. Night Shyamalan’s name attached to the movie it would suck. Even the person holding the screening had to warn the audience that while his name is on the movie, he did not direct it. I could tell everyone was still skeptical. My fear grew as the movie got closer and closer to starting. In the end, were these fears put to rest?
The movie starts out with Ramirez, who turns out to be one of the security guards in the office building and the narrator, telling us a story about the Devil. As the story goes, the Devil disguises himself amongst us in a plan to punish a group of people before taking their souls. The Devil’s plan starts with a suicide, which happens at this building. That is when detective Bowden is called to the scene to investigate. His investigation soon turns into a call about an assault in an elevator where five passengers are stuck.
Let me start with what this movie is about: fear. Yes, it is about the Devil too, but who better to install that fear in you than the Devil himself. Hell, for some people, there is no greater fear than the Devil himself. As strange events start occurring, they fear the person who is responsible, but don’t know whom that person is. The fear grows, as they point fingers at each other, and the tension rises. They don’t know what is going on because the power to the elevator goes out every time something odd happens. If there is one thing that I was a little disappointed with, it was that a lot of the action took place in the dark. You are left to only hear the commotion in the elevator. However, they quickly make up for it when the power returns. I like seeing the action, but that is just me. Hearing it is just as effective for others because like the passengers, you don’t know what is happening.
The elevator passengers aren’t the only ones who experience fear. The audience has plenty to fear as well. There are arrays of fears brought to light, which they hope will remind you of your greatest fears. The fear really begins with getting in the elevator, which a lot of people are actually afraid to do. For a movie that takes place primarily in an elevator, they make most of it. One of the passengers hesitates before getting in the elevator because they are claustrophobic. You knew someone had to be claustrophobic. How could you do a movie about people stuck in an elevator without one? There is the fear of heights, as you see the building’s engineer walking on the roof of this extremely tall building. The engineer also shows the fear of falling, as he dangles from a rope in the elevator shaft. Then there are other fears such as, the fear of getting shocked by electricity, and even of the dark.
As for my fear (and I don’t mean my fear of sharks), I can’t tell you how happy I am that there wasn’t a stupid twist to the story. I was worried that we were going to go through the whole movie, and then some dumb twist would pop up, and ruin everything that happened. You know, kind of like The Last Exorcism. Speaking of The Last Exorcism, this movie is much scarier. I think I even got some chills in certain parts. That probably wasn’t totally fair to The Last Exorcism, but I think you understand what I’m talking about. There is a moral message in this story, as there sometimes is when religion is involved, but it doesn’t spoil the ending. It actually ties everything together, and wraps up the story nicely.
Not everything in the movie is gloom and doom. There is some comic relief, especially when they first get stuck. What better way to break the immediate tension of the elevator stopping than a little humor? One character continues to sing along with the elevator music, which of course annoys the others. It is another thing that they had to include in a story involving an elevator. There are two security guards, Ramirez and Lustig, who provide some laughs mostly at Ramirez’s expense. They are watching the events in the elevator from the security office. As the circumstances get weird, Ramirez’s belief in the Devil appears, which at first is something to laugh at, but is no laughing matter by the end.
One of the most interesting things the movie does is during the opening credits. You get an aerial view of the city upside-down. While it is a different view, there is plenty of meaning behind it. Keep it in mind for when the movie concludes. The story starts with a bang, and keeps on moving. After all, how long can you really keep people trapped in an elevator? They get trapped not long after the movie begins, and then the fear sets in. While the passengers don’t reveal a great deal about themselves to each other, you learn about them as detective Bowden has them investigated while trying to get them out. You find out exactly who these people are, and why they are there.
My biggest fear was erased after seeing this movie. There is a twist, if you want to call it that, but it doesn’t ruin the movie. The movie brings up all kinds of fears, including the fear of the Devil. The story gets right to the point, and moves right along to scaring the passengers and the audience. I got over my fears, but I fear people will still pass on watching this movie because M. Night’s name appears on it. I had the same concerns, but I don’t think this one will disappoint you. For sure, it is better than most of his recent movies, including The Happening or as I refer to it “Nothing Happening.” I, like many of you, said I wouldn’t spend another dime seeing one of his movies in theaters. Even though I saw it for free, I wouldn’t have been upset spending $10 or $11 on it, and give it 3.5 pools of blood.