johnlink ranks DEVIL (2010)

Anytime you can watch an 80 minute horror film with a half-decent premise, you do it. Very little risk, with the potential for a good reward. DEVIL was the first movie in a series of films which M. Night Shyamalan outsourced. He came up with the story (a group of people stuck on an elevator, one of which is the devil), and then got someone else to write and direct while he sat back and produced. There is a group of people that think Shyamalan films would be better directed by someone other than himself, so this served as an opportunity to see how that plays out.

I watched DEVIL (2010) on 9.3.11. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

What a mess this script was. It gave away too much information at some points, was dishonest at others, and generally avoided any nuisances like, say, cause-and-effect. It is the sort of script that I would have (back when I was a reader for a talent agency) given some sarcastic coverage to and told them not to bother reading.

The actors give it a go. Chris Messina, who is a new actor for me, did a good job when he wasn’t telling everyone who would listen about his dead wife and son. TV actor Logan Marshall-Green was also decent. But they just don’t have all that much to work with. This is one of those films that sees women as evil, sex objects, or unimportant. This is a male driven film, and the males aren’t making wonderful decisions.

This premise should have more to work with, seemingly, than something like PHONE BOOTH. But where PHONE BOOTH is snappy, smart, and creative; DEVIL is derivative and predictable. I was hoping to find a nice little horror film here. The opening credits roll over the city of Philadelphia, but projected upside down. The cityscape is haunts with the vertical flipped. It was a low-budget, seemingly simple, but really smart way to launch the film. I was hoping the rest of the film would match that start. Sadly, the opening credits remained the best part of the film.

SCORES

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 2

3+5+6+2+0=16

FINAL SCORE: 4

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~ by johnlink00 on September 4, 2011.

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