Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, September 17, 2010


It's The Devil You Don't Know
[Chris Messina, Jenny O'Hara, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green]

image from veracitystew.com

RANT: Are are lots of movies coming out this weekend that seem interesting... "Easy A", "Catfish", "The Town". And because of this fact, I ventured out this Friday evening for a full-priced viewing of "Devil" to get a jump on the viewing pleasure. It was nice to see a mostly full theater after going to so many matinees. I love watching groups of people come in on the sides 5 minutes before the movie show time and display the same expression. There are no seats for the eight of us! How come the movie theater is so full at 10pm on a Friday on a movie's opening night? Eventually, they will learn or fall victim to a life of repeating history.

SYNOPSIS: Five strangers walk onto an elevator in a highrise office building. One by one, they are killed in the confined space. As office security, maintenance staff, fire and rescue, and a police detective try desperately to access the elevator car, the detective must decide whether to believe the killer is one of the passengers or is actually the devil in disguise.

I am admittedly a huge fan of anything that M. Night Shyamalan is associated with. From "The Sixth Sense" to "The Happening", I find delight in at least one thing in each of his films. Of course, I know M. Night is only credited with the story and producing, but he obviously has a hand in the creative process. "Devil" marks the first of a series of possible movies under The Night Chronicles emblem. With story ideas from M. Night, he will continue to collaborate with inspiring filmmakers to bring the ideas to life.

A cross between "12 Little Indians". "Vertico", and "Lifeboat" (or "Lifepod"), with a dash of any religious movie dealing with the Devil, and you have the pitch for "Devil". The premise is laid out fairly clearly by the narrative of security guard Ramirez, played by Jacob Vargas. Every so often the Devil comes to earth to torture damned souls. Its arrival is marked by a suicide, and the supreme demon takes the form of a human in order to wreak havoc on its prey.

In this case, the Devil has set its eyes on a liar, a thug, a deserter and two thieves of different cuts of cloth to collect their souls. Strangers to each other, they are all drawn to express elevator car number 6. Director John Erick Dowdle, best known for "Quarantine", the American remake of "[REC]", brings together all of the right elements. The fact that a stalled elevator car with flickering lights and moments of blackness that result in someone's death is the nexus of the story, anyone with a hint of a fear of elevators will recognize the claustrophobia and tension that Dowdle is creating. Add in rescue teams unable to reach the passengers, a police detective with no faith in the unknown, and a surveillance system that seems to capture glimpses of what the naked eye cannot, and the audience starts falling down the rabbit hole as well.

The movie is not scary, but it does provide a couple of enjoyable jolts. And every time you think you know who the devil in disguise is, the story takes a different turn. A good pace, good old fashioned inferences and misdirections, and a simple whodunit keep the audience engaged. You may not know who the devil is, but it is fun finding out.

Worth: Matinee and DVD

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

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