"Step into the hellevator"
The tag-line on the DVD cover should have been enough to put me off Devil, but alas, holding onto the quickly fading hope that M Night Shaymalan may recapture the genius of The Sixth Sense, I ignored my own good senses.
Shaymalan does not actually direct Devil, but his hands are all over it.
Devil is bargain-bin fare, with a poorly conceived plot, no character development and a weak ending – all necessary elements of any film, but particularly one that is mostly confined to the claustrophobic space of a malfunctioning elevator.
The plot is silly. Five strangers are trapped in an elevator of an office building – one of them is the devil. All the characters have a sinister secret (obviously the devil's is a little more sinister than the rest) and throughout the course of the film they are revealed… all are pretty anti-climactic, much like the movie itself.
One by one, they are killed off, but wait, all is not as it seems! Well, actually it is, I am afraid. The devil is pretty easy to spot and the big reveal is clichéd and melodramatic.
Admittedly, being stuck in a lift with four other people would be frightening, throw in the Devil and it's downright terrifying, but that feeling of claustrophobia never comes across, and the characters turn on each other far too quickly than can be realistically expected.
There are elements here that could have been used to greater effect, but unfortunately none are given significant time. The devil is revealed to be in the lift, pity it is not in the detail.
Deleted scenes: Quite interesting intros for the salesman, mechanic and old lady, which do provide some useful insight into three of the characters trapped in the lift.
The Story: Basically a trailer for the film, with some input from the writer.
The Devil's Meeting: The filmmakers explain the mythology behind the film, which is based on what is known as the 'Devil's Meeting', a South American myth involving the devil. It's pretty interesting and further illustrates just how much was missed out on in the final draft of the film.
The Night Chronicles: M Night Shaymalan and company punt the hell out of The Night Chronicles a trio of Shaymalan produced films – including Devil.