Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Devil: "A Unexpectedly Entertaining Story of Suspense with a Great Twist"

By: Da’Mon Guy

     Devil is an suspenseful, compelling tale that entertainingly intertwines horror with religion. The film intricately focuses religion, sin, and forgiveness. The film is the latest, moderately enjoyable thriller from M. Night Shyamalan. The movie is the first decent film in a long series of continually disappointing catastrophes by Shyamalan. The movie features Chris Messina (Julia &Julia), Logan Marshall Green (Brooklyn‘s Finest), Jenny O’Hara (Matchstick Men), Bojana Novakovic (Edge of Darkness), Bokeem Woodbine (Black Dynamite), Jeffery Arned (500 Days of Summer), Jacob Vargas (The Hills Have Eyes 2), and Matt Craven (Public Enemies).

     Four people become trapped in an elevator. As they are killed one by one. The details about each of the participants history slowly begin to surface revealing the truth about them all.

     Devil is multifaceted thriller that uses a religious theme to induce a level of thought provoking fear into its audience. The film begins with allegory from the outset. The film’s cinematography is used as a precursor, showing the buildings and all of the scenes are reversed with the buildings upside down with the sky as the bottom of the screen. This incites two critical points of foreshadowing. It shows the devil’s level of control as the dominant deity within the film as well it is a foreboding of things to come. Devil also utilizes a voice over during the film to facilitate the story as our narrator gives us some insight into the evil series of events that are soon to unfold before the audience.

     The film has a multitude of religious aspects intertwined into its maddening horror. Devil addresses many profound religious aspects such as forgiveness, attrition, sin, and even sacrifice. M. Night Shyamalan superbly embeds these aspects into a clever suspense tale that aptly intermingles aspects of each of the four characters sub stories to help facilitate and accentuate the main story of the plot.

     The film stylishly builds a good level of suspense and anticipation for the terror, however, it loses a great deal of the terror as the constant blackouts which only feature audio. The initial occurrence was able to build the anticipation but the repetition of it became sickening. It successfully raised the level of suspense and tension only to lose it because of the redundancy of the scenes.

     The casts is headlined by mostly unknowns. They do an admirable job in bringing this religious based horror to life. Chris Mussina carries most of the emotional baggage as he is the haunted by the deaths of his family. He conveys his emotion genuinely and believable. Logan Marshall Green also adds a commendable performance as our second protagonist. Green’s performance carries the film as his character’s background is the central focus of film. The other casts members all add to the story but nothing spectacular.

     Finally, a M. Night Shyamalan movie worth going to see. Devil is actually an enjoyable film. After Shyamalan’s last string of constant disappointments, I was extremely leery of going to see another one of his films. I was surprisingly wrong as this is a good movie (for one of his, anyway). Devil gives a glimpse of the magic that Shyamalan had with his first few films such as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. This movie actually shows why people continue to allow him to make movies. Devil has a really decent story with an enjoyable ending. Devil is an entertaining film that will be good film to satisfy a dreary night at home.

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