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I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I actually enjoyed a recent film from M. Night Shyamalan. Devil follows the story of five unnamed people who all enter into an elevator. On the way up to a much higher floor (I think somewhere in the 30s, but I can't really remember), the elevator stops. With no way to get out, the five people are stuck together in the elevator. Soon strange and violent things happen, making them realise that one of them is the devil himself. On the outside, a group of policemen and security guards try to find a way to get in before it's too late and they're all dead.
Devil is a surprisingly effective horror/thriller. What the film lacks with scares it makes up for in tension. The film, which is mostly confined to an incredibly small place, has you on the edge of your seat. The premise is interesting, and the execution of this premise is done really well. It's short, thrilling and just what it wanted to be. I didn't go into this film with high expectations. In fact, I was preparing to hate it, so it being decent was exceptionally good. It's not a great film, but for a film about the devil hiding in an elevator the filmmakers managed to do the best job possible. I found myself to constantly be second-guessing my prediction as to who's the devil. It leads you into thinking that a certain person is the devil, and all the evidence is stacked against them, but then a certain thing happens that proves your guess wrong. This is a recurring thing too. You're left constantly guessing incorrectly until the final reveal is made.
This final reveal, unfortunately, is the end of the quality filmmaking and screenwriting. To be fair, the screenwriting wasn't too good to begin with. Full of cheesy dialogue, inconsistencies and comic-book characters, the screenplay isn't the best. This film gets its credibility from the tension it's able to build and then sustain. There's a few decent performances chucked in the mix too, but there's nothing amazing. Back to my point, once the reveal is made the film really falls downhill (or down a few floors, as my friend jokingly stated). The film looses all previous suspense and tension, and it even gets a bit ridiculous.
Occasionally the film is shot really well, but at other times this isn't the case. Outside of the elevator this film is shot excellently. The cinematographer deserves a round of applause for some of the shots that appear in this movie. Inside the elevator, however, the cinematography is not as spicy. It's good, I'm not denying that, but it's fairly point and shoot. This is probably due to how confined a location it is, but it's still something that I just wasn't too big a fan of.
To sum up, Devil is inconsistent, full of cheesy dialogue and comic-book characters, and the post-reveal scenes are quite ridiculous, but with plenty of tension, thrills and an original premise, Devil somehow manages to entertain. Mildly, that is.