I Have Seen The Devil And The Devil Was Dumb: Review And Trailer

Last Saturday, while most San Franciscans were at the free concert in Golden Gate Park, or sleeping off a hangover after drinking themselves into a stupor over the Giants loss, Nick and myself (neither one of us Giants fans.  In fact, I have given up on baseball all together, but that’s for another post on another website) were bunny-hopping at the Metrion Multiplex.  naturally, our hops were planned out ahead of time and were to go down like this: First we would see David Fincher‘s The Social Network, followed by the John Erick Dowdle directed and M. Night Shyamalan written, Devil.  Then for the second half of the jumping we would see Matt ReevesLet Me In, followed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman‘s documentary/thriller, Catfish.

With my movie-hop survival pack securely equipped with enough nourishment to get me through the cine-thon (Ham, cheese and lettuce Deli sandwich, some honey flavored peanut butter protein packets, a large sugar-free Redbull and 2 Granola Bars) I was fully prepared.  Nick on the other hand, brought 2 pieces of cold pizza and… nope, that was it, just two slices of cold pizza.  Okay, whatever works for you, I guess.  In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t pack the Redbull, or even began to drink it at the start of our second feature, Devil.  If ever there was a movie that called for audience snooze participation, this was it.  I was wide-awake, Red Bull wings and all, and in really good spirits after having kicked off our day with the excellent The Social Network.

So, into Devil we went.  Devil is a high-concept film (not to be confused with high intelligent) about 5 people stuck on an elevator with… you guessed it, the Devil.  Walking into any high-concept genre picture you have to know there is a very strong possibility that the film will register pretty high on the suck-o-meter.  For every great high-concept Hitchcock film, where over 95%, if not all the screen time takes place in a single location (Lifeboat, Rear Window, Dial M For Murder, Rope), there are about 20 others that just plain bite.

Before I go any further, now would probably be a good time to tell you the definition of a high concept film.  According to Wikipedia.com high concept is “an ironic term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily described by a succinctly stated premise.”  Aside from the Hitchcock films, which I stated earlier, some noteworthy high concept films of late have been Cube, Fermat’s Room, Snakes on a Plane, Crank, and most recently, Buried and the soon to be released Unstoppable.

In the case of Devil, the premise of 5 people being stuck in an elevator could have been interesting, had the plot not been so overbearingly religious, and had the script resemble something a tad more intelligent and/or creative than an episode of Davey and Goliath.  Even the projectionist couldn’t bear to watch this dribble anymore, as the house lights went on 5 minutes before the end of the film.  Guess he didn’t want to trip in the dark while making his way to the restroom to flush out his memory of what he just witnessed.  Nick and I were soon to follow the wise projectionist, but first had to finish the last 5 minutes of the film.  I suppose we like torture.  Had we stayed for the duration of the closing credits I am sure we would have seen that it was produced by some god fearing religious fundamentalist whose mission is to preach morality via film to the world’s youth, I’m looking at you Daniel Baldwin.

We decided to end our planned 4 film movie hop right then and there.  Still very interested in Let Me In, somewhat interested in Catfish, and not wanting to waste a beautiful day, we both decided to call it quits early.  Too bad it wasn’t an hour and 20 minutes earlier, when the only thoughts in our short-term memory banks were those of Fincher‘s The Social Network.  Oh well, maybe I’ll have better luck next hop.

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Categories: Reviews

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