There comes a point where a once brilliant director and writer cannot maintain his same level of greatness across his movies, and the suitable thing for them to do is move on to do something else entirely. But, there are some directors that insist on trying to re-capture their fleeting moment of greatness again and again … never to do so.
Directors like M. Night Shyamalan.
Can we just skip the formalities and say that, “Lady in the Water“, “The Happening“, and “Avatar the Last Air Blunder Bender” were the equivalent of putting a dead baby in a blender (I dunno what that means, but it sounds right)?
So, moving on. “Devil”, a film about 5 people trapped in elevator who try to figure out who farted and are terrorized by the Devil. Now, mind you that when trailers for “Devil” hit the megaplexis people groaned and laughed (mostly laughed) when “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” popped up on onscreen. The trailer, however pushed on, like the little engine that could and opinions started to change. “Devil” looked kinda good. Terrifying, suspenseful, coherent. Could this actually be a film with M. Nights name attached to it that doesn’t suck? Well, according to reviews it’s as bad or as good as you were expecting.
“With no characters worth caring about, a heavy reliance on a mystery and a final-act twist, and absolutely no sense of suspense, Devil completely blows the chance to build on what could have been an effective story.” – Brian Tallerico, Hollywood Chicago
“The screenplay is streamlined but shallow, and director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) doesn’t generate much suspense, and leaves us half-interested in getting to the drab, unsatisfying finale. Devil doesn’t devise a very scary hell, and therefore is doomed to be forgotten.” – John Serba, mlive
” … the climax is frightening, almost living up to the promise of all that’s happened before, and the way the ending is handled feels rewarding and satisfying. After the immaculately wrung tension of the last 80 minutes, I felt like I’d seen an excellent film. ” -Ben Greene, MovieWeb
” … for all its preaching about guilt, redemption, punishment and salvation, Devil delivers its chills in a compact, efficient package of extreme close-ups, decently-timed surprises and the terror of dread-anticipation. It’s not great, but it’s not bad … ” – Roger Moore, Orlando Central
So, it seems like a decent premise, but poor on the execution . Regardless, one the better films “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” in years. But, the important question here is: “What Did You Think?” Please share your comments below and feel free to discuss spoilers.