Devil (2010)

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Movies

Devil is the latest in a long line of horror movies about Beelzebub, made by people who haven’t actually read his resume. Like just about every storyteller who came before him M. Night Shyamalan, who cooked up this concept for Brian Nelson to turn into a script, has confused Satan with Hades. Hades comes from Greek mythology and he’s the god of the underworld whose job it is to torment the wicked. The Devil on the other hand, is a Christian figure who exists primarily to tempt the righteous into wrongdoing, not punish them for doing it. He wants them to do evil, that’s how he gets back at God for pushing him out of heaven. In Christianity it’s God who does the punishing, and Satan who tries to trick everyone into getting punished, but for some reason in movies Yahweh always gets a pass and everything gets blamed on the Father of Lies who, in this case shows up in an elevator to lay the smack down on a group of wrongdoers, including a mattress salesman.

M. Night Shamalamadingdong has forever been trying to scare us. It’s worked at times (Signs), and failed at others (that horrible Marky Mark fiasco).

The problem with this movie is that it’s never exactly scary. Devil is, at its root, more of a mystery movie than a horror movie. It’s tense but it rarely scares because all the truly horrifying things happen off camera. People only get killed when the lights go out, so you don’t actually see the deaths. Whenever something happens it simply goes dark. There’s never a moment that’ll make you jump in your seat. It has to go dark or you’ll know who the murderer is, and Devil executes those moments well, it’s just not able to make them scary. Maybe there isn’t a way to make them scary. Maybe it isn’t trying to be scary. Maybe they don’t need to be scary.

Devil does a good job of building tension in spite of a fairly brain dead concept. While you’re probably not really going to enjoy the movie’s attempt at a big payoff, the journey to get there isn’t wholly without merit. The script’s mythology is built on half-thought out superstitions which never really work, but if you can ignore that, as a capably directed murder mystery in confined spaces it has something to offer.

IMBD: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (AVI ripped from DVD): Link

  1. Pam Schaeffer says:

    I am so glad you told me to watch this movie. Watched it by myself and have to admit, I did jump a few times. Reminds me a lot of Alfred Hitchcock…Not a bad thing.

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