This weekend, the first installment in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Night Chronicles” has been released. The movie is called Devil, it’s directed by John and Drew Dowdle and is based on a story by Night. The film has been heavily marketed with the producer’s name and we were wondering if that would be more of a hindrance than a help. The reviews are in, and it’s time to see what the people are saying about Devil

The Premise:

Devil is about five strangers who find themselves stuck in a broken elevator. If that’s not scary enough, it seems that every time the lights flicker off for a few minutes… one of the quintet ends up dead. Rather nastily, I might add. But who is the killer? Since you already know the title of the film, one can assume that there is a biblically unpleasant influence exerting itself within the blood-drenched elevator, which does add a little extra spice to the stew. The murders gradually get more elaborate, and of course the survivors are intent on blaming one another. [Fearnet]

The Screenplay:

With a screenplay Brian Nelson (Hard Candy) and a story by M. Night Shyamalan, the film is filled with clunky, lifeless language, some of it laughably hokey. What’s more, as creepy things start happening in the elevator, the plot fixates on the idea that one of the stuck passengers is the Devil, limiting the other possible explanations and losing a chance to really keep us off-balance. [Film]

The Characters/Performances:

The elevator-bound victims are a colorful and well-realized bunch, with Bokeem Woodbine (as a stressed-out security guard) and Geoffrey Arend (as a tacky salesman) the standouts. Also adding some welcome color are Matt Craven and Jacob Vargas as a pair of well-meaning security technicians, while Chris Messina (as the clever detective in charge of the steadily worsening case) is more or less excellent throughout. The actors carries much of the movie on his shoulders, and if Mr. Shyamalan continues his “Night Chronicles,” it’s my hope that he keeps Detective Bowden around as the central protagonist. [Fearnet]

The Bottom Line

After the immaculately wrung tension of the last 80 minutes, I felt like I’d seen an excellent film. Yes there were moments that could’ve been scarier or more tensely handled, but that’s nitpicking.  In it’s own right it’s a terrific little horror thriller. Surprisingly gore-light, it chooses to scare you with atmosphere and tension instead, and it does a tremendous job at it. [MovieWeb]

“Devil” delivers its chills in a compact, efficient package of extreme close-ups,  decently-timed surprises and the terror of dread–anticipation. It’s not great, but it’s not bad, and the fellow who foisted the “The Happening,” “Lady in the Water” and “The Last Airbender” on the faithful would take that praise any day. No doubt the mind of M. Night is troubled that he didn’t get a directing credit (John Erick Dowdle of the taut and tense “Quarantine” did) for a movie that at least doesn’t further devalue his brand. [Orlando Sentinel]

In my opinion this movie falls flat. Some people start getting hurt while being trapped in an elevator and no one can get them out. Don’t you think its a bit early for cheesy Halloween films? I recommend this movie to people who are scared easily because anyone who sees this film that is a fan of horror films will be sadly disappointed. I am definitely disappointed, especially considering who wrote it. [Current Movie Reviews]

There you have it. Will you be seeing Devil this weekend?