Sunday, September 19, 2010


Devil, based on a story written by M. Night Shyamalan and directed by John Erick Dowdle, is the first in a trilogy of films under the title Night Chronicles planned by producer Shyamalan. This first installment takes the audience inside a Devil's Meeting, an event where the Devil tempts and tortures sinners to ensure their evil nature before ultimately taking their souls.

Dowdle's story places five of the six major characters inside a crowded elevator, stalled between floors in a big city high rise. One of the five is the Devil in human form, who tests each of the others to gauge their level of corruption. The sixth character, Detective Bowden, is forced to watch events unfold from the elevator security camera, his efforts to save those in the elevator thrawted by Satan.

Devil feels like an old Hitchcock psychological thriller, but it's told with made-for-TV movie production. The premise is sound and the story is revealed nicely, but the characters are stiff and mostly stereotypes.

The film interested me mostly with its message that real salvation comes from forgiveness; letting go of regrets, hatred, anger and fear allows us to reach true happiness. With our modern society engaged in what seems to be perpetual conflict over cultural perspectives, this is a lesson from which we all could benefit.

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