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Review: Devil

In a surprise twist, this Shyamalan-affiliated film ain't half bad
By SHAULA CLARK  |  September 23, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Forget Satan — these days, is anything scarier than being trapped in an M. Night Shyamalan movie for 80 minutes? But fear not: even though M. Night did pen this supernatural thriller, screenwriter Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night) and director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) have stepped in to help diffuse the familiar Shyamalan stink. And yes, there's a twist, but it's not the kind of groany pud puller you might expect.

Five shady characters pile into an elevator, where the Prince of Darkness comes to collect their wormy souls; meanwhile, a newly sober police detective (Chris Messina) struggles to pound the puzzle pieces together before any more not-so-innocent blood is spilt.

Don't be fooled by the melodramatic speechifying (or that unfortunate voiceover) — this film offers sly winks aplenty beneath the good-and-evil bluster. Does Devil teach Old Scratch any new tricks? Not especially, but if you're looking for a ripping yarn, the elevator has room for one more.

Editor's note: A previous version of this review stated that "four shady characters pile into an elevator"; in fact, five do.

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