Going DOWN.
"Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem."

Hello all and welcome, it's time to gather 'round and listen, as I tell a grim tale about a movie I watched, that ultimately I probably should not have. Do you ever occupy yourself with some other activity while watching a movie, only the second activity is the one you really focus on because the movie is so boring/crappy? For me sometimes I do it because if you're just watching a movie, by yourself, in a way that means that you are trapped alone with that movie until it ends. Sometimes I will decide I want to know about a movie I suspect will be complete garbage, but I'm just not brave enough to put myself alone in a room with it. So I set a secondary task, a handheld game or the internet or something ANYTHING, to be the third wheel to my date that I suspect is doomed from the start. In the spirit of that endeavor, I actually was doing TWO other things while I aired Devil, a film that was meant to kick off a series titled ever so humbly THE NIGHT CHRONICLES, dealing with the supernatural within urban society. That's right boys and girls, this is an M Night Shyamalan production (he didn't direct, but he did write it, so the fingerprints are still all over the murder weapon). I can't emphasize enough the sheer arrogance it must take to launch a series of movies, and name the series after yourself. Me personally, I wouldn't want my name on the Marquis over this movie, but that's because I like good things. Enough exposition though; what is Devil all about?

Well like any good movie that isn't actually good at all, it starts with a premise that I don't find cinematically thrilling. A guy jumps off a building, and then five people inside the building end up trapped in an elevator. This setup is similar to the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, only that was a book, and it was written in 1939. Also I'm reasonably certain it didn't take place in an elevator, and had nothing to do with the devil. Anyway it soon becomes apparent that one of the five people in the elevator is actually the devil, or at least the movie makes it apparent with a voice over and then a superstitious security guard, who tells a story about all the wacky stuff that the devil does to scare bad people... or something like that, I was pretty bored and tuned out of his voice over. Basically the devil likes to torment sinners by trapping them together and then murdering them all. Okay whatever. So the people in the elevator are trapped, and they begin to suspect that one of them is actually the devil, and they start dying whenever the lights go out, and frankly the whole proceeding is tedious and not remotely scary. I was ten minutes into the movie, and I already knew that I was in serious peril. This movie wasn't just bad or stupid: it was boring as fuck.

Look at this compelling human drama.
So the cops arrive on the scene, and they're trying to figure out who doesn't belong in the elevator. Only four of the five in the elevator have signed in, and as they slowly identify the people in the elevator they realize that one of them doesn't belong. They do this via an incredibly unlikely process that takes an impossibly long amount of time. Like really the police can't tell from a camera view who a person is? NOPE They somehow think some lady's name is Jane Kowski, but it's actually the last name of one of the other guys, who was in a hit and run or something involving the police detective on the scene. The devil is going to eat his soul or something but then he repents, and so the devil can't kill him and leaves. Janekowski goes to jail, and everyone celebrates because the movie is finally over. I guess I shouldn't really say finally, the movie is only 80 minutes long, but frankly that seems like an eternity for such a thin premise. If there were a lot more content and action, this could be a serviceable episode of an hour long tv show. Like if Sam and Dean Winchester came to shoot the wicked demon in the face, that would be an okay episode of Supernatural. That isn't what happens though, so I was bored and not scared and really bored.

Bokeem Woodbine's face says everything I was feeling.
Looking back, I am legitimately mystified that this movie was seriously 80 minutes long. I honestly have no idea how they drew it out for that long, given that beyond what I said above in about one and a half paragraphs, very little happens. People freak out a little, say some mean things, and police look stupidly at cameras. That is not an 80 minute movie. That is barely a 5 minute trailer as far as I'm concerned. It is more agonizing to imagine that they somehow spent 10 million dollars making this movie, presumably at least 5 million of that was for a golden chariot that bore M Night to and from the studio. Some of the best praise I read for this movie was like "It was brisk and efficient." How do these people have jobs? Brisk and efficient aren't adjectives that describe a good movie, that describes a good lawn mower. A movie's run time is not a race, and even if it were, this movie lost the fucking race. Brisk and efficient, Jesus.

Regrettably even though this movie sucked on toast it still managed to gross 63 million, making it a wild success compared to its budget. They are currently shooting Night Chronicle numero dos, and  I anticipate that it will also be a piece of shit, but that they will make a profit off of it by shooting it on a micro budget. No doubt we have more of these smouldering shitheaps in our future, and that is truly sad. As a side note, Blogger recognizes dos as a word, but it doesn't like that I typed numero. Weird.

That's it for today! Join me again on Monday for THOR.

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