Thursday, 8 December 2011

Devil - film review

Whilst on holiday recently, I had the opportunity to watch the recent movie Devil and I found I enjoyed it immensely. It’s a modern film, and yet it has some distinctly classic elements. So when, after watching it, I read about the film on the internet, I wasn’t surprised to learn that M. Night Shamaylan, one o the team behind the film, and famous for the spookiness of his work, acknowledged that the story involved a nod to Agatha Christie.

More than a single nod, in fact. The main story is a riff on And Then There Were None, but in the dialogue there is also a hint of the plot-line from The ABC Murders. Suffice to say that I thought the film-makers used the Christie inspiration pretty well.

The story is taut (the film only lasts 80 minutes, and the brevity of the film helps to ensure that the intensity of the narrative is maintained) and compelling. An elevator in a skyscraper gets stuck and it seems that Satan is in there along with the five passengers. One by one, they meet grisly ends.

None of the actors was familiar to me, but they all did a decent job, and I felt that the film was well done, and the story presented in compelling way. The claustrophobic environment of the elevator in particular is beautifully conveyed. Devil is a world away from Fatal Descent, an elevator based novel I discussed here recently. But it’s much better than the Golden Age book by John Rhode and Carter Dickson, and, despite the lurid nature of the plot, it is strangely more credible.

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