From the mind of M. Night… Sigh.
The film follows Detective Bowden (Messina) who is investigating a suicide in a skyscraper. Meanwhile, we also have five characters, all strangers, enter an elevator in the same building. It first just appears to be a simple ride up to the top, but the elevator is soon stopped.
At first the situation seems like just a simple technical glitch, yet as time goes on the workers begin to notice that there is nothing technically wrong with the elevator and the problem may be supernatural, with the character Ramirez (Vargas) jumping straight to the conclusion of it being the Devil. Bowden at first denies this, but as time goes on and the people in the elevator start turning on each other, plus with no one being able to get to the people in the elevator, he starts to see it as more and more possible.
The story didn’t work very well, unfortunately. The film tied taking itself far too seriously while having such an over the top premise, such as having the devil take over an elevator. The tension between the characters never adds much suspense, either. None of these characters are particularly likable or even that interesting. This leads to most of the picture being dull.
I think the characters would be reason to change the name of this film from Devil to ‘Who Can be the Biggest Asshole.’ Outside of the characters having criminal pasts, they are also unable to be nice to each other for more than two minutes. However, the character Detective Bowden is rather enjoyable with his investigation being interesting to follow. At the very least, that gave the picture a bit of a mystery element.
The biggest problem with this film is that it simply wasn’t that scary. It had some creepy moments, but I never really felt the fears of claustrophobia, most likely due to it switching between the characters in the elevator where things are happening and going outside of the elevator looking in, which gives the vibe that the audience is just observing this happen with the police, and not actually in the elevator with the victims.
Overall, Devil isn’t really a terrible movie, it’s just not very good. The execution of the story doesn’t make it very scary and causes it to just come off as boring, especially with all the coincidences at the end of the movie. Although, for having at least one interesting character and some creepy moments, I will let it pass with a low 2 out of 5.