Director: John Erick Dowdle
Cast: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Vargas
RunTime: 1 hr 21 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence and Horror)
Official Website: www.thenightchronicles.com/devil
Opening Day: 16 September 2010
In the film, a group of five strangers are trapped in the elevator, and one of them is the devil.
Dear Mr. Shyamalan,
been a while since I wrote.
the record, I did not hate your latest directorial effort,
The Last Airbender. Although it wasn’t the best movie
you’ve helmed, but I didn’t think it was as bad
as, well, how one cruel review described it as “an insult
to those wanting sophisticated, entertaining or even competent
cinema”. You have my empathy, Mr. Shyamalan (I’m
assuming that the decision to release the movie in 3-D wasn’t
why am I penning this to you a few months after the world
slammed The Last Airbender? Because I see your name credited
as the producer and story writer in this supernatural thriller
about the Devil, that’s why.
of all, let me give credit to the guys who designed the movie
poster. Without showing too much, it is aptly designed with
an inverted cross that seems to be burning furiously –
nice. And how could the production company leave out your
name, which is the main reason why I’m writing this
note to you?
story deals with five strangers with deep dark secrets, who
happen to be trapped in an elevator in Philadelphia. Happened
by chance? Apparently not, because knowing your how you approach
horror thrillers with a moralistic touch, you probably added
an extra element. Here, the additional element is the Devil
himself (or herself?), who has decided to visit the human
world to exercise some justice. Scary things happen in the
elevator, and it is also for viewers to find out which one
amongst this group is the Devil in human form.
the elevator, there is a police detective, an elevator repairman,
a senior security guard and his religious counterpart, who
will all be involved in the drama.
screenplay by Brian Nelson is tautly written, nicely keeping
the tale in compact within 81 minutes. A story like that also
does not require big Hollywood names, which is why a relatively
unknown cast like Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic, Logan Marshall
Green, Jenny O Hara and Jacob Vargas has been assembled. They
deliver engaging performances which will keep audiences duly
entertained for the entire movie directed by John Erick Dowdle.
me if I’m wrong, but after all the misfires you’ve
directed (misfires in the others’ eyes, not mine), production
companies are extra careful about positioning your involvement
in movies now. But being a supportive and forgiving fan of
yours, I thought you’ve done a pretty decent job with
this first installment of The Night Chronicles trilogy.
understand that this series of tales involving the supernatural
within the modern society is your latest venture, and being
a worn out humanoid living my dues in the hustles and bustles
of the city, I fully appreciate your efforts to remind us
what basic concepts like fate, sin, evil, torment and all
things sober mean in the lives we are leading.
ideas are appropriately explored in this movie, without losing
mass appeal. For that, you definitely deserve some credit.
Interesting and thought provoking setups are evident in the
movie, and characterizations are fleshed out for the masses
without being overly superficial. Quote worthy moments are
also aplenty, and one of my favourite scenes left me thinking:
“There is a reason why we are the ones watching”.
probably be smiling to yourself upon reading that. And although
I’m unclear about your upcoming plans, I shall still
wish you all the best, Mr. Shyamalan.
John Li, a supportive and forgiving fan
(The Devil has a relevant and moralistic tale to tell,
and how receptive you are to this depends on your level of
Review by John Li