Film Review: Devil (2010)

Also known as: The Night Chronicles: Devil
Release Date: September 17th, 2010
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan, Brian Nelson
Music by: Fernando Velaquez
Cast: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Vargas

Media Rights Capital, The Night Chronicles, Universal Pictures, 80 Minutes

Review:

“When he’s near, everything goes wrong. Toast falls jelly-side down, children hit tables, and people get hurt.” – Ramirez

After seeing Split, I have been pretty enthusiastic about the comeback of M. Night Shyamalan. So I figured that I’d revisit some of his works. While this isn’t directed by Shyamalan, it was his story and his production. I didn’t want to see it at the time of its release due to Shyamalan being in the midst of a horrible string of films that probably should have ruined his career. But what the hell, this was only 80 minutes and I figured I’d give it a shot.

The picture is a mixed bag. It isn’t shocking and it is pretty predictable but it isn’t as bad as the films Shyamalan was doing himself around this time, such as The Happening and The Last Airbender.

The acting was mediocre, the cinematography wasn’t very inspiring and the score was ineffective. While it might seem like I’m trashing the film, I still found it entertaining enough to fill its meager 80 minutes.

However, some of it was still a bit too dragged out. Really, the film could have been just as effective at 60 minutes, honestly. That just makes me question why this had to be a feature film though. Couldn’t this have fit better as a television episode in a horror anthology? There just isn’t enough to justify this story being a feature film. It seems like an idea that was interesting but was lacking in deeper thought and follow through from a writing standpoint.

It was also pretty hokey and cheesy, especially in regards to the Latino security guard who kept citing spooky tales his grandmother told him about the Devil. And truthfully, there is so much more that could have been explored regarding the Devil and the character’s motivation.

Devil is not a waste of time but it certainly is not a must-see picture, far from it. I didn’t hate it and I wasn’t annoyed by it. It just sort of exists in a state of limbo. Nothing was particularly bad and nothing was particularly good.

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