Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Devil (2010)

The five-people-in-an-elevator thriller Devil is taut, mildly effective and undeniably silly, but it's also the best thing that M. Night Shyamalan has had his name attached to since 2002's Signs and one of the more entertaining low-budget horror exercises you'll see this year.

It takes a very Saw-like approach - a scruffy, plain-speaking detective (Chris Messina) with a tortured past is investigated a possible suicide before being dragged into a never-ending elevator jam in which the stranded passengers begin turning on each other as strange events start piling up. 

It's mostly a bunch of heaven and hell hokum - dying for your sins, asking for forgiveness, etc, etc. - and it all leads to a rather foolish twist involving the past of two key players and a creaky, oddly optimistic conclusion.

There's a deep, brassy Fernando Velázquez score, a tricky upside-down opening credits sequence and an array of potentially hazardous twists and turns, but mostly Devil keeps its footing while ours remains firmly on edge. [B-]

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