The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Devil

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

While The Last Airbender proved M. Night Shyamalan should never touch a children’s cartoon, that out-of-genre showing has no bearing on Shyamalan’s return (as a producer) to his natural habitat — thriller.Devil is based around a simple repetition. Five strangers (Geoffrey Arend, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Bojana Novakovic and Logan Marshall-Green) are trapped in an elevator. Every few minutes, the lights go out. When they come back, one of the passengers is dead. A detective (Chris Messina), two security guards (Jacob Vargas and Matt Craven) and the audience are forced to look on as the remaining passengers lose their minds.This is a splendid plotline for the subgenre of claustrophobia-horror. The genre, which includes such classics as Alien and The Shining, relies on the characters being trapped in a confined space with the antagonist. Extreme close-ups of the characters within the elevator intensify the feeling of entrapment the film projects onto the audience.In this case, a new mechanic is introduced by the periodic nature of the horror. The main body of the film is split into segments by the blackouts, which create rapidly intensifying tension between the survivors. 

Claustrophobia-horror has claim to many of the most terrifying movies ever shot because of the common undercurrent of hopelessness and desperation among the characters.

The concept for Devil is ingenious, but its execution is flawed. Its dialogue, the linchpin of stir-crazy films, is only adequate. The character of Ramirez (Vargas), one of the security guards and narrator of the movie, is horribly overacted. The score, which was initially quite good, gave way in the second act to less artistic, if thematic, elevator music.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian