Devil - Movie review

Published: Nov 06, 2010, 06:55 IST | Tushar Joshi

Dir: Drew Dowdle Cast: Bokeem Woodbine, Caroline Dhavernas, Chris Messina

Devil
U/A; Horror
Dir: Drew Dowdle
Cast: Bokeem Woodbine, Caroline Dhavernas, Chris Messina
Rating: *1/2

What's it about: Five people of different ethnicities, backgrounds and beliefs are trapped in an elevator in a high rise building. Starting off as total strangers, they are soon forced to find out if someone among them is the devil's advocate putting their lives at risk. These five ill fated people are Tony (Logan) a mechanic, a temporary security guard (Woodbine), a salesman (Arend), a short tempered old woman (Jenny) and a good looking executive (Bojana). While they remain stuck, outside security guards Lustig (Craven) and Ramirez (Vargas) along with a detective (Messina) watch the helpless people try to find ways of escape. The devil takes forefront when one of the security guards sees strange occurrences on the close circuit camera footage.

What's hot: Shyamalan has his fingerprints all over the film -- be it the background score, close up shots or the eerie dialogues that keep you intrigued. The premise is indeed engaging and keeps your interest alive in the beginning. The moments when the screen goes black and you hear only voices and strange sounds are quite scary.  If you want to sit tight and give treatment preference over matter then Devil is a delight.

What's not: Problem lies with the five characters stuck in that elevator. Despite the possibility of pulling a huge surprise on us, we are presented with boring backgrounds and uninteresting details about these people. There is no colour or texture to any of these individuals. They are one dimensional to the extent of looking like extras on a horror movie set. Also by the time the devil's identity is revealed there is very little interest left. We reach a point where it really doesn't matter where these people will end up. It's a thriller but there is no set up whatsoever. The script is lazy and expects us to be patient long enough till the climax when everything shall be told!

What to do: Shyamalan needs to get his groove back as soon as possible if he wants the audience to get back to watching his films.

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