"Surprisingly Redemptive, But Violent and Scary"
What You Need To Know:
DEVIL is surprisingly very good. The story is intriguing and sometimes truly scary. The low-budget movie is well directed and suspenseful. DEVIL does have some content that warrants extreme caution, such as a mixed worldview as well as strong language and violent content as the passengers and some rescue workers are killed one by one by the Devil. That said, the movie also contains strong Christian elements including forgiveness, redemption and positive depictions of prayer and the New Testament.
(PaPa, BB, CC, FR, ACap, LL, VV, S, A, M) Mostly mixed pagan worldview with some strong elements of Christian and biblical morality that include a themes of redemption, forgiveness, positive mention of God, Scripture is shown at the beginning (I Peter 5:8) as well as Catholic character references crucifix several times but prays to Mary (which may upset some Protestant believers), one brief anti-capitalist element as businessman is depicted as a fraud and taking part in Ponzi schemes; 16 obscenities; strong violence includes several implied violent attacks by the Devil on people (though no attack is explicitly depicted the after effects are shown), man commits suicide by jumping out a building window, woman is cut in darkness, mirror glass shattered and man is found dead with a shard of the mirror in his neck, man falls in elevator shaft and dies, woman is found hanging in an elevator, man is implied to be electrocuted and his charred body is found, dead body seen with broken neck, implied woman is stabbed and bleeding out, hit and run in car with woman and her baby dying, bodies from the car accident are shown; no depicted sexual content but one crude sexual comment and woman thinks that a man trapped in the elevator with her grabs her backside as the light flickers back and forth even though it is revealed that it is the evil spirit (i.e., the Devil) moving past her; no nudity, but woman wears low-cut blouse; implied drinking while driving and police officer meets with his AA sponsor and it is revealed he is a recovering alcoholic; and, some blackmail, lying, deception, and Devil has come to reap the souls of all the people trapped on the elevator because of their past sins.
DEVIL is a surprisingly redemptive thriller about a seemingly random group of strangers who are trapped in an elevator and the police detective trying to rescue them. Time is running out as, one by one, a mysterious force within the elevator, assumed to be the Devil himself, is killing the elevator passengers.
Five years ago, police detective Bowden lost his wife and infant son in a tragic hit and run car accident. The perpetrator was never found. All the criminal did was leave behind a note saying, “I am so sorry.” Since then, Detective Bowden spiraled into a life of grief and alcoholism. After five years he is finally sober, but he still carries around his anger and unforgiveness.
Meanwhile, across town, a suicide victim jumps from a tall office building. Now, five strangers – an old woman, a young woman, a security guard, a smarmy salesman, and a mysterious mechanic – are trapped in the elevator of the high-rise office building. The on-site security team is able to communicate with the five trapped strangers by using the elevator cameras and a one-way intercom system.
However, this is no ordinary elevator stoppage. Something dark and evil is terrorizing the trapped individuals. As claustrophobia sets in, the five strangers grow increasingly tense with one another, and one Catholic security guard suspects that the Devil may be lurking on the elevator.
Detective Bowden is sent to the high-rise to investigate the suicide, but he is quickly swept up in the elevator crisis. However, this is no routine elevator stoppage. The plot of the trapped passengers thickens when the lights go out in the elevator and, once they turn on again, one passenger is found dead. Detective Bowden and the rescue team race against time as, one by one, the trapped passengers are killed by a mysterious evil. The movie climaxes as the last, remaining passenger comes face to face with the Devil in a twist that collides the present elevator crisis with Det. Bowden’s tragic loss of his family.
DEVIL is, surprisingly, a very good thriller. The story, conceived by M. Night Shyamalan, is intriguing and, at times, truly frightening. The low-budget movie is well directed and suspenseful. The movie does have some content that requires extreme caution, such as a mixed pagan worldview as well as strong language and violent content as the passengers, and some rescue workers, are killed one by one by the Devil.
That said, the movie also contains very redemptive elements including forgiveness, redemption and positive depictions of prayer and Scripture (specifically, a reference to 1 Peter 5:8). The movie also positively emphasizes the existence of God and redemption as more powerful than the evil of the Devil. Still, because of the movie’s scary violence and foul language, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends mature, media-wise viewers take extreme caution.