Devil was an idea hatched by Spookmeister-In-Chief M. Night Shyamalan in one of those light bulb moments that happens when you’re bringing in your car for muffler service and realize that this waiting room would be the ideal location for a horror movie featuring Lucifer himself, were not Lucifer in the adjoining garage trying to brainstorm ways to overcharge you for installation and parts.
“It’s just an idea,” said Night to whomever listens to any of his ideas more recent than Lady in the Water. “I’m just sayin.’”
And with that heaping teaspoon of enthusiasm, Night passed the idea along to a variety of stooges and up-and-dumbers whose job was to script and film and edit and perform in this faux masterpiece of elevator horror.
Yes, elevator horror. Virtually the whole movie is set in an elevator. And lest you think Hitchcock did pretty much the same thing in a lifeboat, Hitch had Tallulah Bankhead to work with, meaning there was more bipolar up and down on that boat than any elevator shaft can possibly produce.
So the Devil is in an elevator, but we don’t recognize him.
There’s a concept for you.
I vote for the guy who farts or the lady trying to hide her cigarette or, most likely of all, the rugrat who considers the pressing of fifty buttons indistinguishable from play.
Yep, that’s the Devil all right.
Because everyone knew this idea sucked, not only did Night hold it at arms-length, but the budget was so low the actors were paid with Amazon gift cards, which most A-list stars consider inedible.
“I’ve spent half my career noshing on Amazon gift cards,” said Devil’s star, Chris Messina, better known as “who?”
“And I’ve spent the other half consuming your valuable time.”
Bad stuff happens when the lights go out. Now God knows there’s nothing more enjoyable than watching a movie while the screen goes black. And this is one of those cases where once it goes black I wish it didn’t go back.
Fortunately all the weirdly dull happenings are placed in context thanks to the most superstitious building security guy of all time:
“If the toast falls jelly-side down, ‘he’ takes human form to torment the damned.”
Is he talking about Harvey Levin from TMZ?
“One of those people in that elevator might be the Devil!” he says.
Then who’s that dating the Kardashians?!
Naturally, our detective hero is now out to fight the Devil, having abandoned traditional detective work for the same sort of crime scene analysis that produces “If you step on a crack you break your mother’s back.”
“If a black cat crosses our path,” he warns “I’ll eat it. I’ve consumed nothing but Amazon gift cards for the past six weeks.”
This is the first film the MPAA has ever rated ‘\”Y” for “Y would you ever want to see this?”
Eventually the Devil is revealed to have black eyes and even blacker eye-liner.
“Since when do the Devil’s eyes look like he has been partying with Lindsay Lohan?” asks our hero.
“Since his Ozzy makeover,” says a passing bookkeeper who was enlisted to co-star in this movie in exchange for a Kindle.
The lesson here is to take responsibility for your mistakes.
As long as somebody else scripts and directs those mistakes, right Night?
I’d rather walk under a ladder.