Devil is the first installment of The Night Chronicles, a series of terrifying stories conceived by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) that he turns into movies with up-and-coming filmmakers. As these talented writers and directors bring Shyamalan’s tales to life, he collaborates with them on new ways to scare us all.
Things get off to a creepy start with Devil, in which five people trapped in an elevator come to realize that one of them is the devil. As those on the outside try in vain to free them, the remaining passengers realize that the only way to survive is to confront the very wickedness that has led them to their current situation.
Shyamalan explains his rationale for setting the film in an elevator. “Normally when you’re in an elevator, you don’t look at anybody and then the door opens and you leave. But if you get stuck in that confined space, you have to look at everybody and ask, ‘Who am I in here with?’ Then when the first bad thing happens, all those faces become threatening.”
Along with the slowly building suspense, Devil has an obvious claustrophobic feel. “We have five characters in an elevator, and one of the rules of filmmaking is the smaller the set, the harder it is,” director John Erick Dowdle says.
But the film crew was able to remove walls and the roof, letting the cameras take in all angles. Co-executive producer Drew Dowdle notes, “As people die, there obviously becomes less floor space, so you get the feeling that the walls are closing in even more. The space starts very small but it only gets smaller, as if a waterline is coming up and drowning you.”
“Devil” is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2011 Universal Studios