Devil asks the question of “What if the Devil was among us? and gives us this scenario in which a group of strangers are trapped in an elevator with the devil, but which one of them is the devil, directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by M Night Shyamalan and Brian Nelson, starring Chris Messina, Logan Marshall Green, Bokeem Woodbine.
The premise is both interesting and completely ridiculous but it’s something that draws you in, why would the devil be appearing as a person? Why would the devil inexplicably be in an elevator? These and many more questions arise and the film addresses them, sort of, there is an overhanging sense of mystery and intrigue here that underpins the story and tries to keep you interested.
With a diverse group of characters, both inside and out of the elevators, though none of them are quite memorable apart from Chris Messinas’ detective Bowden, probably one of the best performances in the film, this is part of the problem of Devil, in some lackluster acting and poor execution. The central mystery is interesting but doesn’t quite go anywhere, if you can suspend your disbelief to go along with the premise, you want your questions answered and while the plot does do that gradually, you may finish the film feeling a bit let down with a twist in typical Shyamalan style. The writing as a whole isn’t really good either and there’s some pretty sappy, poor dialogue.
The film has its tense moments but these are a bit few and far between, plus focusing quite a few scenes outside of the elevator took away from the tension that was taking place inside it, the plot definitely gets worse as it goes on and the first 2/3 are definitely better than the final 1/3, with the conclusion seeming a bit pointless in the long run. The route that things take is a tad predictable as well and you may just be left wondering exactly why the Devil would be in an elevator, which highlights how silly the film feels by the end of it, despite any moral or ethical themes the film may have been reaching for.
. Interesting premise with poor execution
. Bad dialogue
. Fairly lame conclusion