Devil by M. Night Shymalan
Although film writer, producer and director M. Night Shymalan has had several box-office flops since his Blockbuster hit “The Sixth Sense”, his fairly recent movie “Devil” didn’t bomb as bad as movie critics expected it to.
The movie is centered around five people (a security guard, a war veteran, a rich wife, an elderly woman, and a mattress salesman) trapped in an elevator in an office building in Chicago. The incident at first seems small, causing no distress what so ever. But within being trapped in the elevator, the lights go out for what seems to be a whole minute, and when they flicker back on the first victim is killed: a mattress salesman who has been evading taxes for years. Everyone comes to the realization that one of them is the killer, and the movie takes a chilling suspenseful turn as they start dying off. Hour by hour, the lights flicker on and off, producing a dead person in the elevator until the only two survivors left is the rich wife and the war veteran. The detective investigating the case realizes that each one of the victims trapped in the elevator has had a criminal record or has done evil things in their past. Suddenly, the rich wife is killed and the veteran is left alive in the elevator. However, the veteran is not the killer/Devil. It is actually the old woman, who was hung earlier in the movie. In a chilling scene, she raises herself from the heap of dead bodies and commands the veteran to come with her, but in a last minute attempt, the veteran confesses his sin: that he was drunk driving one night and killed a mother and her son, and left the scene in a hurry. The young woman and son was the family of the detective investigating the case (PLOT TWIST!!) The Devil, realizing the man’s soul is saved, leaves, and the veteran is escorted out by police once the elevator begins to work again. The detective who lost his family is driving the veteran back to the station, but instead of conducting his vengeance like he had planned his whole life, he forgives him, with the last line of the movie being “If the Devil is real, then so is God.”
Although it is not one of Shymalan’s best movies, the movie does show the chilling helplessness the Devil can play on it’s victims. Instead of the Devil being some dim-witted creature, in the movie he is portrayed as a deceitful, clever and outrageously grisly monster as he slaughters the people in the elevator. However, the ending struck a touching cord, showing the audience that even though the Devil is real, that means God is real.