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Love in an elevator? Not quite, but worth a peek

Devil: Rates a B-.
Courtesy photo

Poor M. Night Shyamalan.

His first few films are so great that everyone knocks every other movie he does. Sure, most of them deserved to be knocked (I heard The Last Airbender was one of the worst movies to come out in years). I think it’s a shame that this movie, which he wrote, produced, and narrated – isn’t getting the credit it deserves.

It’s not great, but for a horror/suspense film, it’s good.

The story involves five folks stuck in an elevator. Within minutes they’re at each others throats (uh, literally). Kind of makes you have more respect for those miners in Chile. They’ve been down there a month now, and they sing songs and tell dirty jokes to pass the time.

But when the devil is creating havoc, it’s an entirely different ballgame.

There’s a joke early on making fun of The Eagles. Geez, after The Big Lebowski and local Mojo Nixon with his Don Henley Must Die – you wonder if this band will ever get a break. Especially in a movie that has elevator music. That to me is a hell in and of itself – being stuck in an elevator with The Girl From Ipanema playing. Now, you throw on a guy talking loud on his cell phone and a kid that is screaming, and pushing all the buttons (without his parents doing anything about it) – that’s a form of hell in an elevator that Larry David could write the movie for.

I liked the fact that none of these actors are familiar faces (I recognized one guy, Geoffrey Arend, as the drunk friend in 500 Days of Summer).

I thought the movie could’ve had some scarier scenes. And I’m sure fans of slasher films will wish this had more gore.

The premise of people being trapped and tortured, in such a small place (and when the lights go out) is creepy and works well. It evolves nicely into a whodunit, and along with speculating, I wondered about things like the building they’re trapped in having the address of 333. Was that because it’s 666 if you double it?

It’s a nice change to be able to root for the devil (last time I remember doing that was in Ghost, when the bad guy was hit by a car). We’re able to when we find out things about the people in the elevator.

The movie has a few missteps and I found a few elements predictable, but I don’t see how any critic can say they hated this. So many bad movies come out each month, that it’s nice to have a movie that, at the very least, you won’t be bored watching. Most likely, you’ll be on the edge of your seat most of the mere 80 minutes of this picture.

I’m giving it a B-.