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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: Universal - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 82 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Music by: Fernando Velazquez
Written by: Brian Nelson based on a story by M. Night Shyalaman
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 21, 2010







"Bad things happen for a reason"



Film Synopsis:


Trapped in an elevator high above Philadelphia, five people discover that the Devil is among them – and no one can escape their fate. This chilling, supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to a heart-stopping ending with a truly wicked twist.



My Take:


Devil is the first of The Night Chronicles trilogy, which involves the supernatural within modern urban society, by M. Night Shyamalan. In the story five strangers enter an elevator in a busy office building and become trapped when it inexplicably stops between floors. The building’s security guards are able to monitor the elevator via a security camera mounted within however the interior sound has stopped working. Initially the atmosphere among the seemingly ordinary group of people is normal as they await a service technician. Shortly afterward things begin to shift toward the macabre as the lighting in the elevator begins to malfunction and turn off for brief periods. It is during the periods in the dark that they come to realize that there is an evil presence among them. When one of them is attacked in the dark the tension turns to fear and suspicion as it isn’t clear exactly who is doing it. The security staff can only watch in helpless disbelief as the attacks escalate to something that is far beyond their worst nightmares.

When Devil was being released in theaters I recall seeing the trailer on TV and not feeling compelled to see it. I assumed it was the teaser trailer due to its brevity and cryptic glimpses at the plot. All I could make out was that a group of people are in an elevator and that they are being terrorized by some unimaginable evil. Well as it turns out that is pretty much the extent of the film. This is a low budget affair that is paced quickly (82 minutes) and only uses a few sets. There is a brief setup that lightly touches upon each character as they appear in the building’s lobby as well as the police investigation of a jumper/suicide nearby that may somehow be tied in but that’s essentially it before it gets rolling. Once all the principles are in place it isn’t long before it becomes obvious that this is going to be a sort of whodunit. It reminded me very much a Twilight Zone episode (the one where the bus pulls into the diner and one of the passengers is an alien) as the level of fear and paranoia rise to a level that results in people turning on one another rather than focusing on who the real threat might be. The characters are purposefully drawn in a vague manner which works well within the context of the storyline. As things unfold it becomes evident that perhaps their ending up in the elevator together isn’t merely by happenstance.

I really didn’t expect much but found that I enjoyed this film much like you would a sort of extended episode of a show like the Twilight Zone. There really isn’t much depth to it but the focus remains consistent and fairly engaging. There are a few B horror movie type jump scares and a little twist/reveal in the end that quite honestly didn’t surprise me or add much. What I found the most interesting was the interaction among the people in the elevator and I liked how what was happening to them was hidden by the dark and revealed when the lights came on. There is a little religious melodrama but I didn’t find it to be deleterious. This is probably more of a thriller than a horror film but it is eerie enough for it to qualify I suppose. I watched it with my wife and we both felt that while Devil may not be an especially fulfilling film it turned out to be better than expected.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for violence and disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 86


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Devil comes to Blu-ray Disc from Univeral HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn’t always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn’t a diverse one and sticks mainly to primary and de-saturated neutral tones that render a cooler appearance. Flesh tones are slightly deemphasized but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is bold which adds dynamic essence to sequences containing bright elements. Blacks are rich, inky and slightly crushed. Scenes containing uneven and/or dim lighting reveal discernible detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. Images have a pristine quality that when coupled with the video’s high resolution makes for terrific looking presentation.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does an excellent job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well balanced audio presentation that quite often engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however the elements of fright provide an enriching level of immersion generated by a seamless sound field. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces the film’s music and extended lower bass frequencies with room filling extension that strikes with palpable impact.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 3 deleted scenes with play all option

  • (HD) The story – 2 minute feature

  • (HD) The Devil’s meeting – 2 minute feature

  • (HD) The Night Chronicles – 2 minute featurette

  • My Scenes bookmark feature

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • Pocket Blu - App for iPOD/iPHONE

  • BD-Live enabled

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:


Devil is the first of The Night Chronicles trilogy, which involves the supernatural within modern urban society, by M. Night Shyamalan. It’s a quaint horror/thriller that reminded me very much of an extended (PG-13 rated) Twilight Zone Episode. I wasn’t expecting much but came away from it feeling that while it may not be a wholly satisfying film it had its moments and held my interest for its 82 minute runtime. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Home Entertainment in a technically strong offering that looks and sounds great in high definition. The bonus supplements consist of several bland features and a few deleted scenes that provide minimal background on the production. Devil probably doesn’t warrant a purchase, especially in light of the whodunit nature of the story, but its worth a rent when you’re up for a chiller/thriller on a stormy night.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

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This movie will help you develope claustrophobia if you don't already have one! lol!



Coming from Mr M. Night Sha-ma-la-ma-ding-dong this movie was no surprise!
Has there been a movie that he has done that was well received? In any case this film has a stale taste to it. Might be good for rental if that?


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 /forum/post/19610521


This movie will help you develope claustrophobia if you don't already have one! lol!



Coming from Mr M. Night Sha-ma-la-ma-ding-dong this movie was no surprise!
Has there been a movie that he has done that was well received? In any case this film has a stale taste to it. Might be good for rental if that?


Cheers

The Sixth Sense got great reviews IIRC. Oddly enough, that was the last of his movies that I really enjoyed.


Ralph, you made this one sound interesting. I'll add it to my Netflix queue.
 

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Ralph- it's Shyamalan, not Shyalaman.


Sixth Sense was good, Unbreakable and Signs were OK, The Village started out strong, but sucked by the later half, and that was the beginning of the end of his film career.
 

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I inexplicably saw this movie in the theaters, and even more inexplicably found myself kinda enjoying it. It certainly wasn't good, but I was entertained. I think the movie benefited from extremely low expectations (I thought it would be terrible).


Ralph's review is pretty much spot-on; it did have a Twilight Zone feel to it, including the cheese. But not a total waste of 82 minutes, which is more than we can say for the past few M. Night movies. (He didn't direct Devil, BTW. Story credit and executive producer.)
 

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Went to see it during a matinee...for $4.00 bucks , I came away feeling if they spent more money on effects...it could have been more..but the flip side is..that everything happens in the elevator...so what more can you do ?


I would pick this up if it were cheap...like 10 bucks , but it's not a movie you'd want to revisit, which is why King P suggests a rent.


It's not bad...but not great ! Shyaman (whatever) , could do sooo much better but his movies always leave you with the same feeling...COULD'A BEEN BETTER...


I'll wait for it to go on sale...which should be quick on this one.

Walmart will have it for 2 for 20 bucks soon after it's release.
 

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Ralph... thanks.



Just a note... while Night's name is used to help promote the film, he served only as producer.. and will also produce two more films in the "Night Chronicles Trilogy."


Whether you like the film or not, it is truly a mistake to call this a "Night" film (as the studio continues to do..) the Dowdle brothers take full ownership and responsibility (good and bad) for the film and it's content...
 

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You'd think with the string of box office bombs dogging him over the years, Night's name would have been "accidentally" omitted from the publicity for this one. How far he has fallen since Sixth Sense.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer /forum/post/19612002


Ralph... thanks.



Just a note... while Night's name is used to help promote the film, he served only as producer.. and will also produce two more films in the "Night Chronicles Trilogy."


Whether you like the film or not, it is truly a mistake to call this a "Night" film (as the studio continues to do..) the Dowdle brothers take full ownership and responsibility (good and bad) for the film and it's content...

Greetings,


You're welcome Marc. You are very consistent my friend..




Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogurt80 /forum/post/19611544


Ralph- it's Shyamalan, not Shyalaman.


Sixth Sense was good, Unbreakable and Signs were OK, The Village started out strong, but sucked by the later half, and that was the beginning of the end of his film career.

Remember also Wide Awake, which helped start his career.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious /forum/post/19611140


The Sixth Sense got great reviews IIRC. Oddly enough, that was the last of his movies that I really enjoyed.


Ralph, you made this one sound interesting. I'll add it to my Netflix queue.

I guess that's the one movie i almost forgot. Gotta agree about the Sixth Sense being a good one. The rest were ok and just started falling down.


Cheers
 

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One hit wonder? Signs and Unbreakable are also very good. That makes him a 3 hit wonder. Lady in the Water and The Village were ok. I liked them, but can see how others might not. This Devil movie is a piece of crap just like his last few movies. 3 stars? 3 out of 10 maybe.
 

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I watched this on my gamma corrected G90. When the lights go out on the elevator my entire light controlled HT goes pitch black. You can't see a thing, only hear the sounds - about as close to being there as it gets so it was kind of spooky and added to the suspense.


I liked the film - not great, but certainly watchable.
 

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I actually liked this quite a bit. Not a big "Night" fan, granted he was not really involved with this movie, but I thought it played out pretty well. The story was fairly well told and it kept you guessing somewhat how everything was going to play out. Not stellar but certainly worth renting.
 

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Just watched this last night. It was much better than I thought it would be. Creepy with a few nice twists and turns.


BTW, Ralph, I really enjoy reading your reviews. You are fair, and never stoop to negative hyperbole, or insults to the filmmakers, like many of your peers.


Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne
Just watched this last night. It was much better than I thought it would be. Creepy with a few nice twists and turns.


BTW, Ralph, I really enjoy reading your reviews. You are fair, and never stoop to negative hyperbole, or insults to the filmmakers, like many of your peers.


Art
Greetings,


Thank you Art. I am glad that you enjoyed Devil...



Regards,
 

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I actually thought Unbreakable was a strong film. Clearly Sixth Sense is his signature work, and likely always will be, but I think he takes a little more crap than he deserves. Signs had issues, but I was entertained by it. His more recent stuff isn't nearly as good as his first two films, but I consider myself a fan mainly because I like the sort of stories he tells. Hopefully he'll have another critically acclaimed hit in the near future and maybe people can get off his back just a little
 

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This was filmed in the building in which I work (and am at now). It's a bit creepy going up in the same elevators.
 
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