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Devil: M Night Shyamalan's latest offering

It will doubtless find more success in the DVD market, but on the big screen Devil makes for bland viewing.
Devil was produced by M Night Shyamalan. Universal Pictures
Devil was produced by M Night Shyamalan. Universal Pictures

Director: John Erick Dowdle 

Starring: Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O'Hara, Geoffrey Arend

**

It's not a good time to be M Night Shyamalan. Once hailed as the new master of horror, a string of movies derided by both critics and audiences alike have meant the director's name on a poster is not the draw it once was. Nonetheless, this latest movie is the first in a trilogy called The Night Chronicles, which he will write and produce (but not direct). 

Devil is the story of five strangers with dark secrets who find themselves trapped in the elevator of a building where a man has recently committed suicide by jumping from the roof. As events get stranger, the occupants begin to die in mysterious ways during sporadic power cuts, their only chance of survival being a policeman investigating the suicide (Chris Messina). 

Although the Quarantine director John Erick Dowdle is at the helm, Shyamalan's fingerprints are present all through this film, which begins interestingly enough but quickly races through to the finish line with little fuss or surprises. This Twilight Zone-like short story offers nothing the seemingly endless supernatural horror/thrillers haven't, although it's refreshing to see an original story as opposed to a remake (The Ring, Let Me In et cetera). 

Messina is solid as the grief-stricken detective, but the majority of the cast don't really get enough time to do anything spectacular. Although it doubtless will find more success in the DVD market, on the big screen Devil makes for bland viewing.

* James Luxford

Updated: October 7, 2010 04:00 AM

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