14 August 2011

13 Aug - "It's like when people see Jesus in a pancake or something"

Devil (2010)
dir. John Erick Dowdle

Chris Messina (You've Got Mail, 1998)
Logan Marshall-Green
Jenny O'Hara (Matchstick Men, 2003)
Bojana Novakovic
Bokeem Woodbine
Geoffrey Arend (Super Troopers, 2001)
Jacob Vargas (Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, 1997)
Matt Craven (Timeline, 2003)
Joshua Peace (Lars and the Real Girl, 2007)

So, Dowdle, who I've never heard of, was the director of this movie, but M. Night Shyamalan did the story. Poor M. Night, I think he's having trouble getting directing gigs since all of his movies made so little money. Personally, I think he's a fine director, it's his stories that are too heavy-handed with the symbolism. Devil certainly has the key characteristics of a Shyamalan film, beside the fact that M. Night himself is not in the picture. First off it is set in Philadelphia, home to both M. Night Shyamalan and myself. Secondly, it's got that final act revelation that really clearly spells out how everything else in the movie is interconnected, because you wouldn't want anyone walking away after the first viewing with any misunderstanding, and that's what kills me. Signs, The Village, even The Sixth Sense had these pandering endings where they flash back to all the relevant bits and hit you over the head with this grand revelation and I'd much rather than the filmmaker give me a little credit as a thoughtful human being and let me put the pieces together on my own. That's the difference between a great film, one that demands review and reinterpretation, and a dumbass one that makes fools feel clever. It's a soft pitch, M. Night, and that's why you weren't drafted into the big leagues.

Apart from that, though, Devil was a pleasurable psychological thriller that kept you guessing for a good long while.

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