Devil (film)

Devil (film)

Teaser poster
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Produced by M. Night Shyamalan
Sam Mercer
Screenplay by Brian Nelson
Story by M. Night Shyamalan
Narrated by Jacob Vargas
Starring Chris Messina
Bojana Novakovic
Bokeem Woodbine
Logan Marshall-Green
Jenny O'Hara
Geoffrey Arend
Music by Fernando Velázquez
Cinematography Tak Fujimoto
Editing by Elliot Greenberg
Studio Media Rights Capital
The Night Chronicles
Blinding Edge Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17)
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $62,695,489[1]

Devil (also known as The Night Chronicles: Devil) is a 2010 American supernatural horror film directed by John Erick Dowdle and written by Brian Nelson based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O'Hara and Geoffrey Arend. Devil was released on September 17, 2010, and is the first of The Night Chronicles trilogy,[2] which involves the supernatural within modern urban society. Devil opened at the number three spot in the box office opening weekend, taking in a total of $12 million.



Ramirez (Jacob Vargas) speaks in a voice-over about stories that his mother told him about the Devil sometimes actively seeking out individuals who have sinned, while they're still alive on Earth. While taking human form, he traps them in a confined place only to turn them against each other, before killing them one at a time. Ramirez explains that the last victim will die in front of his or her loved one to make cynics of them all, and in the end, all will die. He says that the signs are set in motion with a suicide, as that is when the Devil first makes his presence known. This story is abruptly interrupted by a violent suicide of a man who had fallen from the thirty-fifth floor of an office building; the truck he landed on rolls silently away from the scene.

Detective Bowden (Chris Messina) is a recovering alcoholic who is assigned to the case of the suicide. He later explains that the reason for his alcoholism was the hit and run death of his wife, and toddler son, five years prior. When he investigates the suicide, he determines that the truck originated from an office building down the block from where the victim was found. Meanwhile, five strangers board an elevator, which becomes stuck between floors just shortly after starting up to the upper floors. When security finds them, they notice that there is CCTV and a radio with which they can call into the elevator, but they have no way of hearing the passengers in return. Bowden takes the investigation regarding the elevator as it is the same building from which the suicide victim jumped.

Ramirez is revealed to be one of the security guards and is disturbed by an image of what looks like a screaming face frozen on the video monitor that flashes away. His boss Lustig (Matt Craven) dismisses the superstitious suspicions and sends repair technician Dwight (Joe Cobden) to investigate the elevators while Bowden tries to ascertain the identities of the individuals. Only four of the five are accounted for: Vince McCormick (Geoffrey Arend), a sleazy mattress salesman known for investments and frauds; Sarah Caraway (Bojana Novakovic), the wife of a rich man who is a pathological liar and plans to leave her husband and take his money; Ben Larson (Bokeem Woodbine), a temporary security guard with a history of violence; Jane Kowski (Jenny O'Hara), an older woman who is seen on video to be a thief, and another man who later introduces himself as Tony (Logan Marshall-Green), who does not appear to have signed in at the security desk.

The power goes out in the elevator and Sarah is wounded with what appears to be a bite. All suspicion is turned on Vince who has been edgy since the ride began, however there is another power failure and Vince is thrown into the mirror only to have his jugular vein sliced. The others watch in horror as he writhes and dies, forcing Bowden to consider this a murder scene. Dwight attempts to rappel down the elevator shaft via a pulley to try and fix the elevator, but Ramirez says that the Devil would stop any attempts to help his victims, and Dwight's strap comes loose when he is knocked over by a flock of birds and plummets to the roof of the elevator. The power goes out again. When it comes back, Jane is found hanging high off the floor, dead, causing both Sarah and Ben to accuse Tony while Tony swears his innocence.

Lustig goes to investigate the power in the basement while Ramirez tells Bowden about the story of the Devil incarnate on Earth. Lustig finds a loose power cable that appears to be what sabotaged the elevators, but he is electrocuted trying to fix the issue. Bowden finds a set of tools that Tony had brought in and briefly suspects he might be responsible for the elevator damage. His suspicions then turn to Ben when he learns that the building's security company, Caraway Security, is owned by Sarah's husband. Aware of Ben's history of violent assault, he wonders if Ben might have been possibly hired to kill Sarah by her husband to keep her from leaving him broke. However Ben becomes the victim of the next blackout, when he winds up on the floor with his neck twisted around grotesquely. The two remaining survivors, Sarah and Tony, face off with each other, but decide to lower their weapons after Detective Bowden calms them down over the loudspeaker. Then there is a sudden blackout and Sarah's throat is cut. As she dies in his arms, a woman claiming to be Tony's fiancee is brought before Bowden and informs him that Tony's last name is "Kowski", and that he is in the building for a job interview, thus eliminating the possibility of the old woman's name being Jane Kowski.

As they realize this the old woman rises up, revealing herself to be the Devil. Tony tries to bargain with her to save Sarah's life and sacrifice his own; she scoffs at this, having revealed she'd kill him anyway. In a last, desperate plea for forgiveness, Tony, using a radio, confesses to a hit and run five years earlier: while drunkenly reaching for beer in his car, he smashed into another car and killed a woman (unknown to Tony that the woman was Jesse Bowden (Gage Munroe), Detective Bowden's wife) and her child. Bowden realizes that Ramirez was right about him having being meant to be the audience to this. The Devil, powerless now that Tony has repented of his sin, curses before vanishing, and the elevator comes back on line, leaving Tony's life spared. Bowden offers to take Tony into custody for the confession, and while en route, informs him who he is. But despite saying he'd gone over what he'd say, or what he would do if they'd ever cross paths, he forgives Tony.

Ramirez, again in a voice-over, says that his mother always reassured him at the end of her stories, "If the Devil is real, then God must be real too."



In October 2008, Shyamalan announced, in partnership with Media Rights Capital, that Devil will be made with the Dowdle brothers as directors and Brian Nelson as the screenwriter.[3] Filming started on October 26 2009 in Toronto.[4] There was additional shooting for the film several months later in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.[5] Joe Cobden had to train for four months to prepare for his role. He said that preparing for his death scene, which took four days to shoot, was the hardest scene to shoot except for the introduction and closing.

Story sources

Based on recent film clips, Ysamur Flores and the directors of Devil, John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, explain that the movie is based on a Devil's Meeting, which is a premise that the Devil is on Earth to test evildoers by tormenting them.[6]

Shyamalan acknowledged that the basic structure of the story was "an Agatha Christie nod."[7] In Christie's 1939 novel And Then There Were None, as in Devil, a group of people with guilty pasts are trapped in an isolated location and begin to die one by one. The final plot twist is also the same, with the villain being revealed as one of the group who was thought to have died earlier in the story.


The film was set to have a release date on February 11, 2011, but was bumped up to September 17, 2010. The film's trailer debuted online on July 13, 2010. It was attached with Inception, Salt, The Other Guys, The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Last Exorcism, Takers, Machete, Going the Distance, and Resident Evil: Afterlife.

Critical reception

The film was not screened to critics in advance.[8] Devil has received mixed reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports a mixed score of 52%, with an average rating of 5.2/10, with the site's consensus being "It's better than many of the other films M. Night Shyamalan has been associated with, but Devil never gets more than a few low-budget thrills out of its fiendishly promising premise."[9] Dennis Harvey of gave Devil a lukewarm review, saying "Like the solid B-thrillers of yore that often outshone A-pics topping double bills, M. Night Shyamalan-produced Devil is nothing very special or original, but it gets the job done briskly and economically."[10]

Home media

The film Devil was released to DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 21, 2010.[citation needed]

Box office

The film came in third for the weekend of September 17–19, 2010, behind The Town and Easy A, taking $4,930,000 on Friday and $12,584,000 domestically for the weekend.[11]


On June 23, 2010, Shyamalan announced the second film in The Night Chronicles, titled 12 Strangers at first, but later changed the title to Reincarnate. The film is about a jury discussing a case dealing with the supernatural. Chris Sparling is set to write the script and Daniel Stamm will be the director.[12] Shyamalan has also confirmed that the story for the currently untitled third installment is actually going to be taken from the abandoned sequel of Unbreakable.[13]


  1. ^ Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "M. Night's 'Devil' Moved Way UP to This September!". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Dowdle Brothers Team For Shyamalan's 'Devil'". Bloody Disgusting. October 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Dowdle Brothers Gear Up for 'Devil', First Casting!". Bloody Disgusting. October 16, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Addition Shooting for M. Night Shyamalan's 'Devil'". Bloody Disgusting. June 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Devil's Meeting - The Myth, The Devil, The Legend". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  7. ^ M. Night Shyamalan Explains Origins Of 'Devil',
  8. ^ Ryan, Tim (2010-09-17). "Devil Screening". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Devil Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  10. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2010-09-17). "Variety Review". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Last Exorcism's Stamm on Board Shyamalan's Reincarnate". ShockTilYouDrop. September 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Unbreakable 2 Story to be Used for Third Night Chronicles". September 3, 2010. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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