- 1 hr 21 min
Based on a story penned by M. Night Shyamalan, "Devil" (also known as "The Night Chronicles: Devil") carries a name in its credits that's either loved or hated by movie fans. A sort-of religious, supernatural thriller, the film's story does not deviate much from a typical Shyamalan film, and is exactly what the title promises: a story involving the devil. The film takes place in a massive Philadelphia high-rise building, opening with a narrator saying, "the Devil roams the Earth." A group of five strangers enter an elevator, aiming to reach their destinations and go about their day. The elevator, though, stops, for reasons unknown to anyone in the building; what the audience knows, though, is that the devil has entered and hijacked this elevator and intends to murder everyone in it for the sins they've committed. It doesn't take long for this delayed elevator to become a frightening, claustrophobic prison. People are scratched, touched, and killed in brutal ways, including hangings, glass shards being shoved into people's throats, and necks being twisted 180 degrees around. The question is no longer how long will it take for police and building maintenance crews to rescue the group of people from a stranded elevator; the question is whether or not the people can be rescued at all. "Devil" is a minimalist film. It clocks in at just under 80 minutes in length and focuses entirely on one plot and one plot alone. The true emotional emphasis of the film is the shock value in the ways people die in the elevator. At the same time, while the deaths caused by the devil are brutal, they ultimately each only give several seconds of shock value per death; the majority of the film therefore is forced to focus on the characters' dialogue, from the police developing rescue plans to the frightened prisoners turning on each other. The film ultimately follows and fits into a Shyamalan movie formula from beginning to ending.