Devil *

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Director: John Erick Dowdle.
Screenplay: Brian Nelson.
Story: M. Night Shyamalan.
Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jerry O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven.

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. This is the first film in a purported trilogy, “THE NIGHT CHRONICLES”, from stories by M. Night Shyamalan, but written and directed by others.

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.

Mark Walker

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