Something sinister is astir. A corporate building’s glass window has been shattered in an apparent suicide. Shortly after meeting with his sponsor, Detective Bowden is sent to investigate. The clouds in the sky are swirling and look vicious. The day is darkening. Five individuals have been trapped in a corporate elevator. Nothing is as it seems. Two security guards are monitoring the passengers as they become suspicious, tell each other mistruths, and all hell breaks loose. The security guards are unable to hear the “victims” because their microphone is malfunctioning. The passengers can hear incoming announcements however. After an act of sadistic violence is perpetrated on a young female, Sarah, Ramirez (Jacob Vargas) becomes convinced the Devil is perpetrating the entire affair. Sarah’s back is lacerated by what appear to be someone or something’s razor sharp teeth. The lights in the elevator begin fluctuating and the building’s mechanic is unable to stabilize or reach the malfunctioning device.
In an effort to establish order, Detective Bowden is called into the building to micromanage the rescue operation. Bowden calls for reinforcements, including firefighters, and the elevator company’s repairman. Surprise, surprise, the elevator is out of business with no forwarding number. The firefighters have to cut through concrete to reach the elevator. Meanwhile, the plot thickens.
As violence is repeatedly perpetrated, including the hanging of the elderly woman (Jenny O’Hara), a great deal is revealed about the passengers. Bowden and Ramirez discover who the passengers are and receive information about their criminal backgrounds. Nobody and nothing is as it seems. Slowly, Bowden begins listening to Ramirez’s theory that the devil is in the elevator and has brought him to the crime scene as a witness to what will occur. One could argue that justice is being served as all of those trapped are or were hardened criminals or murderers.
Devil is a complex film. Although it is a retread of centuries’ old religious folklore, nobody knows how to craft an ingenious story like Shyamalan. Devil is sick and twisted, but most of all, it is really exciting! DVD releases are rarely this entertaining, let alone in the middle of a barren movie wasteland during the month of January. I promise that Devil will frighten those of you who are skeptics. It is a genuine horror/action/adventure film. Let me be clear, it is never easy to generate suspense when the primary actors are stuck in an elevator for 90 minutes. Normally, this premise lends itself to boredom. Shymalan has concocted a devilish tale starring, you guessed it, the Devil! Watching the horrific violence and wandering through the darkness is thrilling. I highly recommend this DVD, particularly if you scare easily.
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