Devil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Devil Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 10, 2014
With such an intriguing premise, this Twilight Zone-esque horror film could have been scarier and much more claustrophobic, but it manages only to be a satisfying supernatural Agatha Christie-like story whose merits are due more to its solid direction than to its weak script.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2013
Ramirez: You must consider that one of these people might be the Devil.

"The Night Chronicles Begin."

When Devil was first released, I remember not wanting to see it just because of M. Night's presence. However, if this is the best thing he's had attached to his name since Unbreakable. It's really not a bad movie at all and I, to my surprise, really enjoyed it. I liked the idea and it was just a lot of fun. It's not a movie that you'd call great, but as a nice little horror/suspense thriller, it works very well.

Five people board an elevator, which gets stuck. A security guard believes, after some of the people in the elevator are attacked, that one of them is the devil. Soon a cop comes onto the scene and tries to figure out what is going on, but slowly the people on the elevator are killed one by one. Are these murders the work of someone with a motive, or is the devil really on board?

There's the normal stupidity that goes with a movie like this, but overall it's all presented in a reasonable and competent way. It's probably one of the better "devil" related movies in recent memory, although that's really not saying a whole lot. So in the end, this is a film that is worth checking out even if you hate the post Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable work of M. Night. It isn't as good as any of those, but it's pretty good.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2010
The premise is fun: five strangers stuck in an elevator, one of them must be the devil, as one after another gets mysteriously killed off. That works really well in some scenes and feels a tad silly and self-important in others. Overall entertaining and with a somewhat satisfying solution but had potential for much more.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2010
Five strangers are trapped in a lift and when one of the occupants is attacked it becomes increasingly obvious that there is a killer in their midst. Based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan, Devil is a hokey supernatural chiller that successfully uses paranoia and suspense to beef up a rather slight and silly premise. A little like a satanic Phone Booth, the occupants are coached by a watching detective as he desperately tries to save them before time runs out and at 75 minutes, it's economically told with a minimum of fuss. It's the kind of film that could've been a total dud in the wrong hands, but thanks to some deft direction and creative photography it's actually an entertaining slice of Twilight Zone inspired nonsense that doesn't outstay its welcome.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2013
Devil is a surprisingly eerie horror film with a very interesting idea. Five people are trapped in an elevator and one of them is the Devil himself. That is essentially the plot of the movie, and it leaves you on the edge of your seat. There are some really tense moments in the film, and for a short run time, there are enough jolts here to keep you interested from start to finish. The cast done a good job, but there isn't any standout performances either. What is even more surprising is that the film's idea is from M. Night Shyamalan who has lacked vision from his last few directorial efforts (Although The Happening was decent). The film has a few flaws of course, luckily there are more high points than lows, and genre fans will surely enjoy this film if they are looking for something entertaining and thrilling. Devil may not be the comeback that Shyamalan needs, but it's a step in the right direction and it proves that he still has a few good ideas up his sleeve. This is a fine supernatural horror film that director John E. Dowdle directs with flair. There are enough good elements to overcome the bad and this is a very entertaining movie that should be seen if you want a different film. There are enough thrills to keep you engaged till the very end. I was pleasantly surprised by this film, and it was not what I was expected. Devil is creepy and well thought out, but the weaker points is that some of the acting is a little off, however the good plot makes for it to be effective and entertaining viewing.
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2010
It's ok, nothing really great or special, got the feeling it might have worked better as a play. The claustrophobic feeling of being locked in a lift never really made it across from the screen.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2012
It's not as bad as the previous films M. Night Shyamalan has been associated with, but that is not saying a whole lot. One of the biggest problems with the film is that the big twist is given away by the title. This reduces the film to waiting for a climax that ends up being unsatisfying. The film foolishly tries to deceive the audience by throwing one red-harring after another, only to have a big reveal that the audience was never given a fair chance at guessing. Shyamalan continues to show his incompetence as a writer, their are scenes and moments of dialogue that seem to have been made for Rifftrax to poke fun of. However, three elements prevent this movie from being completely bad. Director John E. Dowdle gives some good cinematography and occasionally succeeds in building some tension, if only a little. Despite a really bad script, the actors do a good job in making the best of it. Chris Messina and Logan Marshall-Green give performances that almost transcend the cheesier aspects of the film. The film also has some good music that gives the movie a Twilight Zone feel to it. In fact, this whole film feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone padded out to an hour and twenty minutes. If this movie where a television episode of a horror anthology, it probably would have been a lot more solid.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2011
I actually loved this movie. It's creepy but entertaining as well.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2011
Despite poor ratings here on RT, I loved the film and it had me gripped throughout. The camera techniques were really cool and definitely added to the suspense factor. Only thing I would have changed, would be to have given the ending a bit more of a punch.
Marc L.
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2011
After "The Last Airbender", Shyamalan's career seemed truly done for. It got panned by critics, and although I have never seen it, it obviously wasn't very good. However, when "Devil" came out, it seemed like a shimmer of light and hope for Shyamalan's career. It wasn't anything like his original movies, but it's actually pretty good.

First of all, it's not a horror movie. If anything, it's an above average psychological thriller. There were a few things that were pretty scary and disturbing, but nothing too incredibly scary.

Also, I wish this movie had a better plot twist. I mean, if you come into a Shyamalan film, particularly a psychological thriller like this, you expect a twist better than this.

The acting was really good. Logan Green was especially good. He hasn't been in anything yet, but his performance was great in Devil. Though Bokeem Woodbine isn't one of the main characters, he did a good job to. That said, he still looks like a Lawrence Fishburne wannabe.

The obvious strength of the movie is the sense of tension. That feeling that any character could be killed at any moment. Devil would be nothing without that tension.

The ending is one of my favorites all time. It was really emotional with a mix of terror and heart. I won't give it away, but it was pretty nice.

Over all, Devil isn't amazing. But it's entertaining enough to prove that Shyamalan has enough in the bag.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2011
One concept that we all as living, breathing, and thinking (for the most part) humans have in common is the concept of evil. More specifically, the Devil. We all have our own image of him and, while some refuse to believe in him entirely, we all accept the fact that he is their at all times. One such myth of the Devil is that when someone commits suicide, the Devil has access into the human world and has the plan to cause complete chaos and destruction. Take this myth of the Devil and mix it in with five people trapped in an elevator on a typical, busy day and you get the basic premise of this cheap, but yet appealing thriller, suspense film. Now, I want to touch base on one part of this film that might go and throw some viewers off: The producer. M. Night Shyamalan is a director that has some good films under his built (The Sixth Sense; Signs) and some of the worst films ever made (The Last Airbender; Lady in The Water). Due to his recent films that are so bad that even Ed Wood would be jealous, he does show some promising talent as a producer in what is said to be the first film in his film series known as The Night Chronicles. But will his other films be like this one? One can only wonder. Now lets look at the director of this film John E. Dowdle. Now, Dowdle has only two films credited to him (The Poughkeepsie Tapes and Quarantine), but looking at this film, he does not show complete pure talent, but shows decent nonetheless. Personally, some changes I would have liked with the direction of the film, but that is just my own personal taste. Acting wise, I must say that it is better then what I thought at first. Well, when you have a list of unknown actors portraying these characters, well there is bound to be some hidden talent here and there. While there are no Oscar worthy performances, the acting is good for a low budget modern Thriller. The score for this film is not that memorable at all. I mean, yeah there are a few pieces that are good, but nothing that actually sticks to you like glue. Finally the script. Written by Brain Nelson (Hard Candy; 30 Days Of Night), this has to be one of his lower films unfortunately. But while this film looses the high quality that his film Hard Candy had, it does have a sense that this does pay tribute to the days of The Twilight Zone in terms of how the script works and feels. It is cheap, but fun script nonetheless. Overall, this is just a fun little film that is not meant to be completely deep regardless of the Catholic overtones.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2011
Scared me half to death! The ended was so unexpected and it had me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole film. Very well written and the actors were fantastic. Definite must see!
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2011
Ay, caramba! I've heard of slow emergency response, but this is kinda ridiculous. Like this movie. I tell you what, if it weren't for the security guard helpfully telling us non-stop how his grandma explained this whole devil torturing people etal, this would be so stupidly inane that I'd have hung myself with an electrical cord -- but not really -- just to escape this mess. Hey, for anyone who didn't know it before, not only is Satan just a plain ole bad news bear, but he/she is also a purse-snatcher!!!!! Go figure. Multi-talented dude/tte, I must say. But you know what, all you participants in bringing this baby to us, I forgive you. Yes, that's right, I truly, deeply, and abundantly get your SUBTLE message. I might actually be smarter than the proverbial average bear. Oh, and keep your thieving hands off o my pic-in-ic basket, Mr. Satan.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
Not too shabby for an M. Night Shyamalan. I don't always like his a matter of fact, I cringe when I see his name attached, usually. But this had enough suspense, and originality to make me like it.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2011
"My mother's story would always begin the same way, with a suicide paving the way for the Devil's arrival. And it would always end with the deaths of all those trapped"

What can you expect from the minds of John Erick Dowdle and M. Night Shyamalan? The first one has directed a remake of a brilliant spanish horror film called 'REC' and the more famous one has directed such "classics" as 'Lady in the Water' and 'The Happening'. Well, something small and quite good. Just as my pen....cil.

Set in Philadelphia (duh, like Shyamalan would set his films anywhere else? Some exceptions may be), five people are trapped inside an elevator. The elevator suddenly goes all dark and tadaa... First kill made. People turn against each other. The elevator goes dark. Tadaa! Second kill. And so on. Detective Bowden (Chris Messina) is called to calm the shit down. Will he succeed before the elevator turns dark again. No. Tadadaa! Third person killed. Who's the killer? The Devil? Belsebub? Lucifer? Tracy Morgan?

As you may have already gotten a hint of, I'm not going to go deep in to details of the story. The poster already says that we are dealing with something evil. Something dark (Tracy Morgan?). Brian Nelson, the writer, has managed to create a story that is easy to watch. A bit too easy in fact. I've enjoyed his two last films, 'Hard Candy' and '30 Days of Night', so 'Devil' was a minor letdown. The important tone/mood is nearly nonexistent. The writer and the director have gotten surprisingly little conflicts and interaction between the characters. But then again, elevators tend to be the most silent places in the world, except the annoying music of course. After the first kill, I would've gone berserk and suspected everyone, with closed fists...

'Buried' was another small film that used closed spaces (a coffin) and managed to deliver a claustrophobic storytelling on the screen. Dowdle seems to forget that the elevator could've been the real stealer in the movie, an important supporting element. But instead the movie is set more in the surveillance room. Not like this. Come on! If you have a tiny chance to make something different, make most of it!

'Devil' has its moments but the interpretion of the Bible and folktales tend to take too much importance to the storytelling. The end twists are clichéd and a bit humorous. The ending should've needed a real kick in the nuts. Redemption and morality. That's what 'Devil' is all about.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2010
What a pleasant surprise! Lately, seeing the name M. Night Shyamalan attached to a movie leads me to avoid the picture like it's a flaming paper bag, but I am very glad I took a chance on this one. This kind of reminded me of... a zoomed-out version of Saw, which had a more elaborate story structure, more characters and a larger budget. Not that the two movies have anything more than a passing resemblence, it's more about the tone. The drama is playing out in the elevator, and I found that my allegiance was shifting between the trapped characters minute to minute. I like the way Detective Bowden slowly follows a trail of forensic evidence into the surveillance building to join the two security guards and form an audience for this fascinating debacle. The scares really land, partially because of the brilliantly adept filmmaking, but also because of the great character writing and performances from everyone here. This was such a treat. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the next two "Night Chronicle" movies. I just hope that they are nearly this good. And I really REALLY hope that Shyamalan doesn't turn off potential viewers with the fact that he named the damn series after himself.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2010
A briskly paced mystery that had me guessing up until it's surprisingly satisfying twist. "DEVIL" is a popcorn thriller that while not exactly strong in any respect (from it's average directing to it's average performances) remained unpredictable enough (and entertaining enough) to hold my attention. At 80 minutes the film doesn't outstay it's welcome and is definitely worth checking out for some quick, harmless thrills.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2011
Horrible film, but still wanted to know who the devil was so kept watchin
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
Super Reviewer
February 20, 2011
M. Night Shyamalan director of the very successful "The Sixth Sense" - which made such a lasting impression that it has now entered popular culture - now takes a step away from the camera and does the writing duties on this low-budget horror.
Five complete strangers find themselves trapped in a lift and what seems to be an everyday event, soon turns out to be a lot more. They have been brought together for reasons unbeknownst to them and one of the five is in fact, the Devil, who has come to collect on a debt.
This film recieved a fairly decent release at the cinema and made a fairly decent name for itself in the process, but I struggle to see why. It's amature filmmaking at best and is no better that cheap, late-night television fodder. The concept is a reasonably good one and you'd think it could maybe be pulled off. To do that though, you'd need someone with some experience in charge, not shock-jock horror director John Erick Dowdle. The acting is also woeful and unconvincing. The only one who commands any interest is the annoying salesman (Geoffrey Arend), he's a good (and the only one with) character but also the first to be despatched of by old Nick. The rest are all just there for further bloodshed and red herrings. M. Night Shyamalan couldn't buy a decent film these days. He's become King Midas in reverse at the moment, everything he touches turns to shit and he's in serious need of a hit film before being banished to straight to DVD obscurity.
Absolute cheaper than cheap dross. I can only assume that Shyamalan sold his soul to the Devil for his earlier success and is now paying the price.
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