I hope by now, people that read my film reviews realize they aren’t normal reviews. Since I review things that [generally] have been out for a while, I don’t feel it’s necessary to give a “real” review. To be honest, even if I was reviewing fresh in the theatres, I’d still do it this way. Everyone’s a critic, so if you want “real” reviews with “meaning,” you can find them anywhere.
So, I didn’t really want to watch this movie because it looked boring, but then I watched the trailer, and decided I had high hopes for Devil. Basically, the second I found out that one of the people in the elevator was going to turn out to be the devil, I wanted to watch it. We love anything in which we can place bets on who lives until the end, and who ends up being the bad guy. It makes the movie interactive. This is why we can’t watch movies with people.
Zach and I put our bets in before the movie started. Then, halfway through the second act, we readjusted our bets. Then we split our bets. (Side note: we generally only place 2 bets – 1 before the movie starts, and a second around 30 mins into the movie) Basically, we were over-thinking it. Our first bet (before the movie started) was actually the right one. Go with your gut, guys.
The opening sequence was stupid. Seriously. The ONLY thing they could come up with to show the devil was among them was to shoot the city upside down? Lazy. And then the end, it showed the same footage right-side up. Lazy again. I GET IT THE DEVIL IS GONE SHEESH. Also, the dialogue in the beginning and the end sequences was terrible. It’s like, they couldn’t figure out how to set up the elevator stuff with all the people. They needed to do a better job.
This movie is about how the devil walks among us and punishes us or something (I didn’t really catch that last part). We are introduced to the main detective (Chris Messina) as he investigates a jumper from a tall building. I have to hand it to them. They made that particular part of the movie really complicated for absolutely no reason at all and wasted a lot of time on it. It was solid though. Then, people get into an elevator and people start dying. The same detective gets brought in to investigate the elevator, and one of the security guards helping him is very religious (and also narrating the story).
I liked the idea of this movie, because I was told similar stories growing up. I was even warned by my mother (who was warned by her mother) that the devil walks as one of us to tempt us. I wasn’t sure if the story was meant to scare me, because I didn’t really know who Satan was as a child. I thought he was a Bible salesman (long story). Even though I had fun watching the movie, it kind of fell short for me. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. But it actually wasn’t very scary. And literally everything scares me in scary movies. I’m an easy scare. I fall prey to all the traps. I jump high, whimper, and yell out. I’m the perfect audience.
But it didn’t really scare me. They needed more creepy devil stuff, and less whiny drama. To be fair, devil themed movies are actually the least scary for me – I just thought the claustrophobic elevator would be my downfall.
Favorite Line: “When he’s near, everything goes wrong. Toast falls jelly-side down, children hit tables, and people get hurt.” – Ramirez (security guard)
Favorite Scene: The scene with the quote. He takes a piece of toast, throws it up in the air, and it falls jelly-side down. The look on his face when it does, is priceless, making him the best actor of all time. The detective looks at him, and you know he’s just thinking, “I’ve seen a lot of fucked up shit in my day, but I’ve never seen anything like this.” We laughed all night about this scene. Watch this movie just for this scene.
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Runtime: 80 mins
Rating: PG-13 (for throat stabbings, I’d imagine)
Currently streaming on Netflix.
If you like the satanic genre, I honestly haven’t seen a lot that are currently streaming on Netflix, except Rosemary’s Baby, which is a genuinely great film. Here are my other recommendations that you could find elsewhere:
The Exorcist (classic, disturbing)
The Amityville Horror (honestly, take your pick of the original or remake, I’m not a snob, they are both just OK)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (I actually liked this one, it kind of scared me and made me “believe”)
The Blair Witch Project (It’s OK, it has its moments, but I think has a bad rap because of the bad press around it)
Poltergeist (another classic, you should see it, even if it’s just for the pop culture references)
The Conjuring (was this devil related? I can’t remember, but I liked this movie, and will be seeing Annabelle, the spin-off movie)
And that’s all I have. You’re on your own for devil movies!