Friday, December 2, 2022


September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Devil, which was not screened in advance for critics, was ignored by most of the major ones over the weekend, many of whom were winding up their coverage of the Toronto Film Festival. Those in the major markets who did take it in were split fairly equally, with the naysayers having a slight edge. The movie takes place on a crowded elevator on which the passengers are murdered one by one by … the devil. Tirdad Derakhshani in the Philadelphia Inquirer, called it a “tight, imaginative little flick,” that was “conceived” and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. “Devil is guaranteed to keep you on tenterhooks from beginning to end — and without much gore,” Derakhshani observed. Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel took a halfway position between those critics who praised the film and those who hated it. “For all its preaching about guilt, redemption, punishment and salvation, Devil delivers its chills in a compact, efficient package of extreme close-ups, decently-timed surprises and the terror of dread-anticipation,” Moore wrote. “It’s not great, but it’s not bad, and the fellow who foisted the The Happening, Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender on the faithful would take that praise any day.” But Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times concluded that the first two-thirds of the movie fails to produce “any kind of gathering, white-knuckle dread.” And by the time Shyamalan’s third-act twist ending arrives, “being asked to care about fate, redemption and forgiveness when a satan-in-an-elevator gimmick hasn’t delivered is like getting medicinal aftertaste from what should have been a box of delectably fiery Red Hots.”