Friday, September 17, 2010

Popcorn Worthy? - Devil

READER BEWARE: Opinions Are Expressed Below

I am officially announcing the decree of changing M. Night Shyamalan's last name to SHAMEalan. I shall also decree that anyone will be shot on site if they say that The Village, Lady in the Water or The Happening are great movies. Is it sad that the pinnacle of SHAMEalan's career was The Sixth Sense? It is very sad, but I will not waste a tear on this man whose mind should be put to better use elsewhere.

I'm going to make this as brief as possible to spare you the pain. The movie is narrated by the Hispanic security guard whose mother told him stories of the Devil coming to earth to collect souls once someone commits suicide (such a wonderful bedtime story). It seems her stories are true as five strangers (three jacks and two the security man calls them) get trapped in an elevator. Tensions rise in the enclosed space as the lights continue to flicker and some mundane elevator music plays in the background. I'm guessing SHAMEalan was trying to go for a claustrophobic approach...but it just didn't happen. I mean it kind of happened for the characters, but for the audience member...there was no tension or distress. The only distress was trying to figure out who the killer was inside the elevator. I used the "don't trust a ginger" method.

As far as having a deep meaning throughout...there really wasn't one. I have no clue why the Devil chose an elevator in some high rise building to collect souls. I also have no idea why he chose that specific day to kill those specific people. Sure, they were all sinners...but we're all sinners...right? The only meaningful thing was mentioned at the very, VERY end. It had to deal with forgiveness, and if you believe the Devil is real then God must be real too. Wait a minute, that sounds A LOT like The Last Exorcism (but reversed).

The acting was just OK, but I did not connect with any of the characters as they attempted to be scared. Sure they sweated profusely, screamed and went through the general cabin fever hysteria...but I just didn't feel anything. As for the music in this movie, there might have been some other than the elevator music, but I don't remember any. So that you should tell you something right there.

1.0 Popcorn Kernels Out Of 5 (zero suspense, unclear motivations and elevator music)

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