‘Devil’ is another nail Shyamalan’s career coffin

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By Steve Thomsen / Staff Writer

By Steve Thomsen / Staff Writer

At one point in the movie “Devil,” it is mentioned that the devil chose the audience present for a reason.

I’m not quite sure why I was chosen for this particular audience, but I’m quite sure the devil himself had something to do with it.

His agenda was simple: take an hour and a half from my life, never to have it back so it will forever be lost in the time I spent watching this film.

But for writer M. Night Shyamalan who knows no other thematic device other than the classic “twist,” I’d think he’d be such an expert at the said dance move that he’d put the classic “Pulp Fiction” dance scene between Uma Thurman and Jon Travolta to shame.

So what is this strangely titled movie all about?

Five strangers are all stuck in an elevator together, all suspicious of the others around them because that’s what happens when you put several strangers in any isolated space in a movie.

There’s the aggressive black guy (Bokeem Woodbine), the random hot chick (Bojana Novakovic), the annoying idiot salesman (Geoffrey Arend), the silent brooding ex-military guy (Logan Marshall-Green), and an old woman (Jenny O’Hara), just for kicks.

There is also a vigilant detective (Chris Messina) and a whole supporting cast of characters who are trying to get them out before anything bad happens to them.

And bad things do come to the unfortunate victims in the elevator.

As the movie progresses we are presented with sequences where the lights go off then turn on and one of our elevator dwellers ends up dead.

This setup is horrific enough, but is then twisted even further when one of the more religious security guards suggests that one of the people in there might just be the devil. I guess Scam-alan was so in love with the eventual plot twist that he forgot that no one has found the devil scary in cinema since 1978.

I won’t deny that the tension is high at some points and, for a PG-13 movie, they really didn’t pull any punches with the violence.

Each time one of our unfortunate victims bites the bullet (or chokes on shards of glass) we’re presented with a pretty grisly murder scene that never leaves the elevator.

Not a bad addition, and very similar to “Saw” where the first thing we see is the dead guy in the middle of the room.

That’s maybe the one positive thing I can say for the visual style because the rest of the movie consists of close up reaction shots and really fake looking sweeps through the city of Philadelphia.

And the plot twist! How much lazier is Scam-alan going to get? I will honestly say I guessed who the killer was as soon as I saw the supporting cast. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say this: whoever talks the least throughout the movie is always the killer. Don’t be fooled by the obvious red-herrings. If you didn’t completely turn your brain off, you could probably guess it by the trailers alone.

Just like the main character of “The Sixth Sense,” Shyamalan seems to not have realized his career has been dead the whole time: he just never noticed it.

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