31 Days of Horror Movie: Devil (2010; PG-13; 81 min)

I am a huge, HUGE fan of M. Night Shyamalan, so I have no idea how I didn’t realize Devil was one of his movies. Okay, technically, he’s the producer, but it still features his signature twist ending and deliciously spooky, good vs. evil storyline, plus lots of great “quick scares” as well!

Set in a Philadelphia high-rise, the story begins with a suicide jump and a detective who is investigating. Very soon, though, he discovers an elevator in the same building has stopped around the 21st floor, with five people stuck inside. One of the men inside is a temp security guard, but otherwise, we know nothing at first about the other two men and two women who are trapped.

Now, think of pure Hell, and you can be sure there’s annoying elevator music playing in every stuck elevator, right? And if you’re stuck with others, you can be sure they are people you’d never want to hang out with (think salesmen and cranky old bats) for a few minutes, muchless a few hours. Oh, and you can be sure your bladder is nice and full, too. Now you know what these trapped people are enduring as the movie unfolds.

Meanwhile, two security officers, who can see inside the elevator and talk to those trapped, but not hear them talking back, are asking a maintenance man to fix the elevator. While waiting on his efforts, one officer notices the lights keep going on and off in the elevator, and when they go off one time, one of the women is bitten badly on her back. Upon reviewing the security tape, he sees what he believes is the Devil’s face. He immediately tells the other officer and the detective that he believes this is the Devil’s Meeting, when “the Devil takes human form to torment the damned on Earth before stealing them away.”

As the movie continues, one by one those trapped in the elevator meet horrible deaths when the lights go off. Each one suspects each of the others of being a murderer, and the detective is doing all he can to reach them before another one dies. We also learn more about the Devil’s Meeting from the religious security officer, so we know the killings won’t stop until the Devil gets the one he is truly after. The plot thickens, connections form, and blood flows until the surprise ending brings us full circle and we can once again ride an elevator without a care in the world, except where to look and how far away to stand from the weird dude wearing the winter coat in July.

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