Sunday, September 26, 2010

A movie review: "Devil" or "The Night Chronicles: Devil"


Read their body language, and you can tell who the Devil is...


M. Night Shyamalan is the person responsible for this supernatural thriller, "Devil" or also known as "The Night Chronicles: Devil").

The premise is promising: 5 strangers are stuck in an elevator. All five are, relatively speaking, bad guys with one of them is literally the Devil in disguise.

Thus the taglines for this movie: "FIVE STRANGERS TRAPPED. ONE OF THEM IS NOT WHAT THEY SEEM".

Allow me to digress a bit. I'm kind of annoyed reading the second sentence. ONE OF THEM IS NOT WHAT THEY SEEM. Why the use of 'THEY'? Shouldn't it be read as "One of them is not what he/she seems"?!

Anyway, I have a high expectation of the show. I expected it to be like Phone Booth where the whole drama is contained within a single space.

In that sense, I'm not disappointed. This "Devil" movie has most of the thrilling parts happen in the elevator. (I can recall of two examples of the other thrilling parts which do not happen in the elevator. One is when the building engineer run towards the edge of the building to catch his flown cap and at the last minute he realises he can fall to his death because of his stupid sense of attachment to the lousy cap. Another is when the security guard is showing to almost step on the floor where the exposed cable poses a electrocution hazard.)

I too like the part when the light in the elevator is off. The whole screen is truly shown in the dark with only voices (panic ones!) are heard. Then the light is on. And the horror is showcased to the gasping audience. As simple as that. Yet it does work!

I try to put myself on the shoes of those trapped in the elevator. They do not have the luxury of knowing that there's the Devil among them (they are not the audience, silly!).

So of course the suspicion is inevitably arising with those 'logical' suspects in mind. First, the temp security guard--strong & able, moreover with a violent past. Second, the former mechanic because he was in the US military during the War in Afghanistan. Capable of killing, are they not?

The elderly woman logically can be ruled out. She looks so frail!

And so is the young woman as there are simply no muscles at all in those dainty arms!

The mattress salesman is annoying. He talks too much, therefore he can't be a killer as any killer should be watching more of his/her preys than talking them to death.

Okay, the keyword is 'logic'.

Knowing M. Night Shyamalan (I'm crazy about his "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable"), I know there must some twist also to this "Devil".

As a result, I was entertaining this thought that the first killed person is the Devil. If he/she is indeed of the supernatural origin, the death as we know it is not applicable to him/her. And if he/she is killed, he/she will be out of suspicion.

I also consider the most unlikely person--logically speaking, not capable of killing--among the five to be the Devil.

What I cannot fathom prior to watching the show is the why. Why there must be these specific people trapped in the elevator & subject themselves to the scarring experience? Is there any rationale for that? The film satisfactorily answers that, mind you.

Do not let me spoil it by explaining further.

No comments: