The movie I’m about to tell you about is called Devil, but it should have been called Hellevator or had a tagline like that. “Devil,” psh. That’s about as creative as naming your pet hamster Rodent. As far as Satanic horror movies go, it’s not actually very scary. It gets super tense at parts through utilization of flickering lights coupled with unusual deaths, but never really steps into that jump-scare territory. That’s what happens when the entire movie occurs in a malfunctioning elevator and you’re not allowed to know who the one making trouble is, I suppose. Not a lot to work with.
Devil begins with a priest dying by falling out of a rather tall building, and a narration describing a priest dying and how that kind of thing usually means Satan is up to shenanigans. Then, five people get into an elevator and it enters inspection mode. Then, the lights flicker and someone gets bit. You may be hoping they turn into a demon zombie, but they don’t, for which I am profoundly sorry. The security guards watching via the elevator’s camera call the police to defuse the situation, which brings Detective Bowden to the scene.
Bowden is a recovering alcoholic who lost his wife and daughter in a hit and run car accident several years prior. That might seem irrelevant, but it plays an important role later on, so hush. He’s the one who doesn’t believe in the Devil because he thinks people are bad enough on their own. Ramirez, the religious security guard and narrator of the beginning of the film, gives him some guff for it, though they eventually join forces to take on Satan in a loose, moralistic sense. You can’t actually fight Satan, I don’t think.
Anyway, here’s the lineup of people trapped in the elevator in case you want to sleuth who the devil is before you watch the movie, if you even plan on it:
- Ben Larson, a temp security guard.
- Jane Cowski, an old woman.
- Vince McCormick, a scumbag mattress salesman.
- Tony, a former mechanic and Afghanistan veteran.
- Sarah Caraway, a rich and tricky young woman.
By the way, Sarah Caraway is played by Bojana Novakovic. That’s a name I haven’t heard since Drag Me to Hell. That one and Devil are similar, though the latter lacks a sense of humor and focuses more on being a moral lesson, the lesson being “you better not do nasty shit or the Devil gon’ come round and kill you dead.”
Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend is quickly becoming my favorite movie reviewer around. According to him, Ramirez knows the secret of the Devil. He knows it super good-like because his grandma told him. He just doesn’t tell anyone until everybody’s already dead. You should read this other review because it’s silly and clever and I like it: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Devil-4849.html