Devil (2010)★★★☆☆


I’ve really got to stop going in to M. Night Shyamalan movies with high hopes. Or high expectations. It just never works out the way I want it to. Which isn’t to say that his movies aren’t decent movies – they’re okay, they’re just a bit formulaic and it’s not a formula I particularly care for.

This is yet another one that fits that mold. On the plus side, I was happy not to see one of those revelation sequences where all the clues leading up to the reveal are flashed on screen. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else special about this movie.

The title screen and credits are mostly understated, though the upside-down cityscape and the John Williams-esque opening music may have been a bit much. The acting was fine (and there were a couple of familiar faces in there, particularly two from other movies I’ve watched this month) and the pacing consistent.

(Warning: pretty spoilerful ahead) But like…why did the twist even have to be a twist? If the old lady was the Devil the whole time, why did she kill the first four (including herself…ish) without a word, but then give Tony a chance to talk? Seems suspect.

And, come on…you can’t really call it a “twist” when you’re revealing all the information at the same time the characters are coming across it, without any other clear path forward. I suppose there were a bunch of red herrings thrown into the plot here and there, but when I really think about it there was no available path to an end.

You already assume the Devil is one of the folks in the elevator by the time the reveal happens, and it’s not like there’s enough character development to make you form an opinion (at least not before the suspect gets killed). So it wasn’t really a twist except in that they got the name wrong. I don’t know, it felt contrived in a way that felt unnecessary.

Anyway, this isn’t the worst movie I’ve watched but it’s not the best, and like most of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, it’s not all that scary. Still, it’s reasonably entertaining if you don’t expect too much.