Thursday, May 26, 2016

Devil (2010)

Number Rolled: 70
Movie Name/Year: Devil (2010)
Tagline: Bad things happen for a reason
Genre: Thriller
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Media Rights Capital, Night Chronicles, Relativity Media
Producer: Joseph Boccia, Drew Dowdle, Trish Hofmann, Sam Mercer, Ashwin Rajan, John Rusk, M. Night Shyamalan
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Writer: Brian Nelson, M. Night Shyamalan
Actors: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeen Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Joshua Peace, Caroline Dhavernas, Joe Cobden, Zoie Palmer, Vincent Laresca

Blurb from Netflix: Detective Bowden must save five people trapped in an elevator and he has to do it fast, because one of them is the devil.

Selina’s Point of View:
I wasn’t all that impressed with Devil. Everything about it fell into the mediocre category. The recipe used was fine, but was executed in a very bland fashion. The actors did their jobs, but didn’t exactly do anything more than that. It was just one mediocre thing after another.

I didn’t really enjoy the way parts of it were filmed, either. There were parts that were completely auditory. I don’t enjoy that. Don’t get me wrong, it made sense for the storyline and the setting, but I still hated it in general.

Aside from that one issue, I didn’t love or hate the rest of the film either way.

Just another meh in my opinion.

Cat’s Point of View:
Devil was supposed to be the first of at least three movies making up The Night Chronicles. This project was a brainchild of M. Night Shyamalan (Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Visit), and meant to be a series of supernatural thrillers based on his original ideas. Shyamalan reportedly would not be at the directorial helm, nor writing any of these films; but would provide collaboration as needed and produce.

It sounds like a neat concept, though it seems to have stalled somewhere along the way. Perhaps the first installment didn’t do as well as they expected? Shyamalan seems to have moved on to different things. This movie was released in 2010; and the second film slated to join the Chronicles was Reincarnate scheduled to begin production in 2013. IMDb has that title still ‘in development.’ Given that it’s been 3 years with no further word, I fear that this project may be lost in development hell.

Back to the movie!

This film was Shyamalan’s adaptation of a folklore tale. This tale, in fact, is told during the movie. I found the concept intriguing.

I’m not a claustrophobe (though my general reaction, unmedicated, to MRI ‘torture tubes’ has me beginning to question otherwise); but if I got trapped in an elevator with strangers, I can tell you I would definitely not be a fan of enclosed places after that.

I think that the screenwriter and director could have presented this concept a little better, sure – but the end result of this particular movie was suspenseful and unsettling.

I appreciated the choices they made for effects and the execution (no pun intended) of some of the scenes. There was a clear opt for the lack of CGI or any really fancy special effects. I don’t believe that it was cutting budget corners. I think they likely wanted to tap in to humanity’s primordial fear of the dark – unspoiled by things like night vision infrared cameras.

This movie definitely has the earmarks of Shyamalan’s touch on it, though – from the setting of Philadelphia, PA to the use of the color red. Several others of his trademark motifs are also utilized. Unfortunately, discussing them would provide spoilers.

I would definitely recommend this movie, and even watch it again in the hopes I might catch something that I missed before.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 52%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 43%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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