Some films are so unremarkable that even a flash review seems too generous – but if I sat through it, then I’m going to review it. Here’s a synopsis of Devil, 2010 – but to relieve my own boredom, I have written it in the form of a haiku:
The devil hides among them.
Oh shit, lots of blood.
Taa daa! As well as an amazingly talented film reviewer (and incredibly modest) I is also a poet (and if anybody wants to hire me I charge very reasonable hourly rates). But anyway, back to the film…
Lift breaks down. Weird shit happens. People start getting bumped off. The police and the two security men desperately try to free the trapped people but nothing seems to work – and innocent people die in the attempt. One of the security men is deeply superstitious and keeps insisting one of the people in the lift is the devil. Considering they tell you this In. The. Trailer. as well as On. The. Poster. oh and even In. The. Title. Of. The Film. it doesn’t come as much of a shock when he is proved right. It transpires that every person in the lift has been rather naughty and that for this reason the devil is bumping them off – but he is saving one of them until last.
I’m not sure what this film was aiming at. If it wanted to prove that an interesting film can be made inside a small box the Cube, 1997 and Phone Booth, 2002 already did it far more successfully.
It shoe horns in some painfully convoluted plot twists towards the end. Would you like to know what they are? Of course you do. Read on, for spoilers!
The Devil is disguised as the mad old woman. The soul the Devil is saving for last is the Mechanic (Logan Marshall-Green) who killed Detective Bowden’s son in a hit and run. But the devil can’t claim his soul in the end because he apologises to the detective and everyone gets closure.
The most remarkable thing about this film is that – although set in the modern day – it feels incredibly 1980s, from the naively optimistic ‘morality tale’ at its heart to the strange assortment of characters, décor and clothes. The film is messy, rail-roading over any sticky plot points and totally ignoring anything that takes too much effort to explain.
From a somewhat intriguing premise what we are left with is an unremarkable oddity, somewhat entertaining, highly convoluted and ultimately rather irritating. Don’t go out of your way to watch it.