ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

001603
Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Devil (2010)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Eric Dowdle
John Erick Dowdle

Starring:
Chris Messina/Det Bowden
Bojana Novakovic/Sarah
Bokeem Woodbine/Ben
Matt Craven/Lustig
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of peeps get trapped in an elevator with Old Scratch in the house; it’s up to a cop (Messina) with his own shit going on to get them out before they all becomes “corpsesicles”.
THE LOWDOWN

Bad Things Happen For A Reason

Even though the trailer owned me and the dead body in my closet, I was weary of DEVIL; and no its not because M. Night Shyamalan’s name (who sadly lost me after SIGNS… but I still have hope) is on it; the dude solely produced it and came up with the initial premise (its also the first film under his The Night Chronicles banner). It takes more than that to urinate on a picture. I was more concerned cause September is usually known as dumping month in Hollywood, a time when La La Land often gets rid of the projects it doesn’t have much faith in (same thing for January BTW; dump before the crop of new films are unleashed). So I went in with my jockstrap on and my guards up and low and behold; I had a fun, creepy time with it. Didn’t see that coming to be honest. Yes, I was expecting the worst.

The moment the opening sweeping upside down aerial shot (the film is about the Devil... get it) of downtown Philly unravelled I was wowed and hoped that this was a stern sign of me being in for something special and thankfully I was right. Written by Brian Nelson (co writer of 30 Days of Night) and directed by John Erick Dowdle (REC remake Quarantine) DEVIL proved the old saying true; “if she doesn’t swallow; you don’t marry”…wait a minute that’s the wrong saying…I mean this one; “sometimes less is more” and DEVIL went by that philosophy for the most part and proved it right. Here’s my best Pacino impression: “What do we got?” A group of dodgy folks trapped in a buggy elevator and a cop on the outside trying to get their sorry asses out. That was the stage and Dowdle played off it beautifully. The man kept me in the game by delivering an effortless pace, gradually peeling away the walls as to whom the peeps in the elevator were, slyly playing the whodunit game (somewhat of an unfair one since there was no way to know who the culprit was; I still had fun playing it though and actually guessed right) and via delivering low key yet chilling scares. And yes, Fernando Velázquez powerful score backed up the proceedings with flair as well. Never heard of the dude, but am keeping tabs now. His ditties often elevated the flick to F*CK YEAH echelon.

And I gotta say it; the whole lights go off in the elevator then something f*cked happens device worked on me like the hilarious hate mail I often get in the morning. Every time that went down, I’d be dreading what would come next; again; a simple yet MUCHO efficient ploy that kicked my ass to fear flick heaven. Yup 95% of the time subtlety was this one’s M.O and I esteemed that; not only did it work for the film's benefit but it also echoed the more classic genre jamborees of old; the ones that didn’t need to splatter the screen with plasma to make an impression. Although I’m a gorehound at heart, I do jack off all over the more tension driven genre offerings as well; and DEVIL was just that. Thank you. Acting wise; Bokeem Woodbine aside (whose work I’ve always loved, here was no exception) I didn’t know any of the actors in this Zoo, which played in the movie's favor. Not going the star way was a smart jab; it helped me believe in these people more and definitely jacked up the potency of the guessing game. Although everybody nailed their roles with talent and class; Logan Marshall-Green really took me aback with his intense and focused show. The dude had a sense of stillness that made him mesmerizing on the screen. I hope he goes places; the mofo deserves it. He has star written all over him.

And was it me or was Geoffrey Arend (as the annoying salesman) a dead ringer for Shyamalan himself? I couldn’t get that out of my melon while watching this fucko; an under the table cameo? Maybe. Who cares? Nobody but me. Now when I wasn’t hooked by the hellish madness bumping in the elevator; it was the cop on the case subplot grabbing me by the balls and making me cry out “uncle”. The investigation thang kept serving up more answers; therefore a clearer sense as to the big picture and it surely helped that Chris Messina as the 5.0 in charge put out an appealing performance. His character was layered (loved the grief he carried with him) and likable... all ya need from a hero yo! Finally, I was raised Catholic, my faith one way or another is my freaking business, but with that spat, I’ve always had a fascination with theology, God and the Devil. This movie was smart enough to use the POSITIVE values that rest behind the Catholic religion and to put them out there to create some thought provoking moments (Jacob Vargas, a stand out actor BTW, was the main catalyst for those). Think a morality tale based in religion but that would also fly high in any psychology class. I came out of the theatre with my date (who chewed the seat in anticipation the whole way, she lost it in there) debating just that. Any movie that has me yapping psych driven by religion drivel whilst I’m strolling out gets a Bowling trophy and a pat on the ass from yours truly.

Any negatives to spew? Not many to be honest. I could’ve gone without the whole narration for dummies the movie put out. I didn’t need the happenings explained to me; the film was doing a bang on job of doing that all by its lonesome. It's frustrating when a flicks treat its audience like duh morons. I also was half and half on the cat being fully out of the bag move at the end and how the film went about it; I would have kept IT under wraps and continued with the suggestive streak this one was on… but hey… that’s just me and last I checked, I’m an asshole. When all was said and raped while I was walking home, digesting DEVIL, all I kept thinking was; “shit I don’t really have many complaints about this one”… now that’s rare for me! DEVIL was the real deal and I hope yall enjoy it as much as I did. Now SHOUT AT THE DEVIL! Cue in heavy metal guitar riff!

GORE
I can’t do it guys and dolls! I can’t spoil the kills; they are part of the film’s back hand to the audience. I’ll say that the gore is minimal but when it arose it got the job done. All ya need to know!
T & A
None, it wasn’t that kind of movie; I could gawk at Bojana Novakovic in a tight top for days though; but that’s just me.
BOTTOM LINE
It’s not a sequel; it’s not a remake, its original horror yall and it’s damn good! Spooky, astoundingly shot, with an effortless pace, thought provoking themes, solid actors, suspense and potent chills all wrapped up in a compelling whodunit. Yeah I could’ve gone without the narration that told me what I already knew and maybe not going so literal at the end would have made the film stronger; but on the whole, I freaking loved this tip-top all around horror flick. Don’t let the Shyamalan name turn you off it and go out support original horror that’s actually GOOD on the big screen, if ya want more of it!. This is a John Erick Dowdle movie; props bro! You got me!
BULL'S EYE
I'm confused; some publications say that John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle directed the film; but the opening credits only state John Erick Dowdle. So which one is it?

The film was initially to be released on February 11, 2011 but was pushed back to September 17, 2010.

The third film in The Night Chronicles: Reincarnate; is going to inspired by the once planned sequel of Unbreakable.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

7:16PM on 10/05/2010

Can't say I share the love

Watched this yesterday, and, though this was probably my fourth favorite film by Shyamalan (behind The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs), that isn't saying much given how bad his films usually are.
Ultimately, it was just kind of "there". Good setup, not much in the way of scares, and a craptacular ending.
I think many scores are increased (mine included) simply due to low expectations.
Watched this yesterday, and, though this was probably my fourth favorite film by Shyamalan (behind The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs), that isn't saying much given how bad his films usually are.
Ultimately, it was just kind of "there". Good setup, not much in the way of scares, and a craptacular ending.
I think many scores are increased (mine included) simply due to low expectations.
Your Reply:



10:39PM on 09/27/2010
Once again, Mr. Arrow, my views match yours! In fact, this movie really exceeded my expectations! It just feels really good to see a movie with such a fresh concept in this day and age! I think I'll see it again sometime to catch some things I didn't catch.
Once again, Mr. Arrow, my views match yours! In fact, this movie really exceeded my expectations! It just feels really good to see a movie with such a fresh concept in this day and age! I think I'll see it again sometime to catch some things I didn't catch.
Your Reply:



7:10PM on 09/22/2010
Arrow I also agree with you. It was an original idea and proves that 'less is more.' I gotta say I figured out who the devil was right away despite the fact that they try to trick you. The other twist I guessed at, but it still got me. A solid thriller!
Arrow I also agree with you. It was an original idea and proves that 'less is more.' I gotta say I figured out who the devil was right away despite the fact that they try to trick you. The other twist I guessed at, but it still got me. A solid thriller!
Your Reply:



9:56PM on 09/19/2010
I have to say I completely agree with Arrow on this one. While it wasn't a complete masterpiece, I don't have many complaints except for the ones you stated. Especially the narration. But the flick was actually scary, suspenseful, and creepy! Whenever the lights went off in the elevator I was lowering down in my seat in anticipation for what would pop up on screen. I had a great time with it. I loved it!
I have to say I completely agree with Arrow on this one. While it wasn't a complete masterpiece, I don't have many complaints except for the ones you stated. Especially the narration. But the flick was actually scary, suspenseful, and creepy! Whenever the lights went off in the elevator I was lowering down in my seat in anticipation for what would pop up on screen. I had a great time with it. I loved it!
Your Reply:



9:38PM on 09/19/2010
i'm sorry to do this again but Reincarnate is the title for the second film. The third film is currently untitled. :D
i'm sorry to do this again but Reincarnate is the title for the second film. The third film is currently untitled. :D
Your Reply:



3:23PM on 09/19/2010
Fuck this review was typo hell, thx 4 the heads up magicwizguy. And I am happy to see that I am not ALONE in having loved the film...
Fuck this review was typo hell, thx 4 the heads up magicwizguy. And I am happy to see that I am not ALONE in having loved the film...
Your Reply:



11:01PM on 09/18/2010
Another mistake, Mr. Arrow, is that the 2nd Night Chronicles film is not based on the Unbreakable sequel. That's, in fact, for the third film.

The film is creepy and there's a lot of suspense propelled by realistic performances by some of the castmembers and the claustrophobic feel in the elevator. If you want an original horror film that messes with your head, entertains you throughout, has a truly satisfying conclusion, and leaves you with something to think about, DEVIL is the perfect
Another mistake, Mr. Arrow, is that the 2nd Night Chronicles film is not based on the Unbreakable sequel. That's, in fact, for the third film.

The film is creepy and there's a lot of suspense propelled by realistic performances by some of the castmembers and the claustrophobic feel in the elevator. If you want an original horror film that messes with your head, entertains you throughout, has a truly satisfying conclusion, and leaves you with something to think about, DEVIL is the perfect film. Don't let M. Night Shyamalan's name turn you off. I think it's the best horror film this year so far.
Your Reply:



1:21PM on 09/18/2010
Thx for the heads up on that typo acerky!
Thx for the heads up on that typo acerky!
Your Reply:



+0
12:46PM on 09/18/2010
Mr Arrow, just to inform you: Logan Marshall-Green is the guy in the hoodie, not the annoying salesman.
It was a decent film. It's predictable and the ending is rather limp, but it has some really nice camerawork. The cast is great too.
Mr Arrow, just to inform you: Logan Marshall-Green is the guy in the hoodie, not the annoying salesman.
It was a decent film. It's predictable and the ending is rather limp, but it has some really nice camerawork. The cast is great too.
Your Reply:



+0
3:58PM on 09/17/2010

Hard to like, harder to care about

I just got back from this - where was the tension, the suspense? I'd avoided the trailer and was somehow under the impression that the movie was going to be about a bunch people stuck in a confined space with the titular character. But you never get the sense of space and there is way too much happening outside the elevator. There's no sense of danger. It never feels claustrophobic.
Sure the performances are fine but the characters felt flat and one-dimensional and I couldn't care less about
I just got back from this - where was the tension, the suspense? I'd avoided the trailer and was somehow under the impression that the movie was going to be about a bunch people stuck in a confined space with the titular character. But you never get the sense of space and there is way too much happening outside the elevator. There's no sense of danger. It never feels claustrophobic.
Sure the performances are fine but the characters felt flat and one-dimensional and I couldn't care less about them.

I'm not putting the blame on Shyamalan since he did not direct this. Shame as the idea is solid. It would have made for a really terrific and scary short or TV movie.
Your Reply:



Mistress Of The Week

More
Argyris, Michelle