Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Devil by M. Night Shymalan

Devil Movie Poster

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.

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5 responses

  1. Thanks for making it so I no longer have to watch this movie. All of his movies look good, but I always end up being disappointed and wanting my money/time back after watching them. Anyways, in the movie, does the devil do anything beside simply killing the people on the elevator, such as play tricks on them, like you said? I think it’s interesting that, in a lot of Shyamalan’s movies, he makes references to how God is real. It sounds like this movie had an ending similar to that in Signs, when Mel Gibson’s character renews his faith in God. I think this reference also appears in more of his movies too.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    • Akshata

      Haha! I’m glad you didn’t have to waste ten bucks at the theatre to watch an OKAY movie my Shymalan. I actually feel he’s a discredit to my race, because I don’t think anyone in the history of Hollywood has that many movie flops. But to answer your question, yes, the Devil does play some awful tricks to the victims. For instance, the war veteran in the elevator begins to see dead people in the elevator once or twice, and the woman gets this illusion that she’s been stabbed, when she really wasn’t. The ending was somewhat similar to signs, where faith is renewed. But I liked the ending of this movie, because after all the gruesome killings and events, you realize that there’s still hope.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  2. Akshata

    Haha! I know how you feel. Shymalan has screwed me over so many times with my money and his pointless plots. And he’s also a discredit to my race; I don’t think anyone in Hollywood has had that many movie flops. To answer your question, yes, the Devil does play tricks on the victims; like giving the illusion that everyone is dead, when they aren’t and changing the faces of the others so they look like monsters to one another. The ending is a parallel to Signs. I feel the only difference is that at the end of Devil, after seeing all those grisly murders and scenes, you’re reminded that there is still is still hope out there to cling onto.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm

  3. Molly Allender

    Haha man got some Shymalan haters. I thought it was interesting that the devil took the form of an old woman, a contradiction of viewers expectations as well as the typical portrayal of Satan.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

  4. nickmehendale

    M. Night Syamalan made movies after The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable? Huh. I think the idea of “If the Devil exists, then so does God” is interesting. It’s sort of a yin-yang relationship. How can we understand good or evil without the other?

    May 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

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