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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2010

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"Devil" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-december-2010-devil

Synopsis

Shortly after an apparent suicide, five complete strangers find themselves riding in the express elevator in a Philadelphia skyscraper.   On the way to the top, the elevator dies and the five passengers quickly begin feeling paranoid.  Once the lights begin to flicker it becomes apparent that someone, or something, is in the elevator with them and it intends for all of them to die.

Specifications

  • Universal 2010, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 21 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Codec: VC1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O'Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Vargas
  • Directed by John Erick Dowdle
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Moderate
  • Sex: None
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

After the string of bombs with the name M. Night Shyamalan attached to them, I didn’t have high expectations for “Devil.”  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The first half of the movie slowly ratchets up the tension, feeding the viewer just enough to keep them on their toes.   There is just enough character development to make you feel for the characters while still retaining an air of mystery as you wonder what each of these people has done to deserve a place at “The Devil’s Meeting.”  The second half of the film clues you in to these little details slowly while the film builds to its climax.  The acting was solid and the pacing felt just about right.  The second act of the film seemed to lose some of the suspense built earlier, but the ending is still satisfying.  The gore is kept to a tasteful minimum, which is rare for a horror/suspense film these days.

Technical

Picture quality on this disc is solid.  The image is clean and sharp, befitting the recent production.  There is good depth to the image and colors are nicely saturated.  The color palette has been tweaked towards the cool/blue end of the spectrum, but I kind of liked it.  My only real complaint is that black levels appear to have been elevated a bit.  Blacks never appear truly “inky” and they seem to have a processed look to them.  The intro scene in the coffee shop shows this perfectly.  Look at the dark suit and hair of Detective Bowden and you’ll see what I mean.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack has great dynamic range, with the powerful score hitting very hard when called for.  Surround use is infrequent, but is used effectively.  Dialogue is perfectly clear throughout the film.

Extras

Included on the disc are deleted scenes and brief featurettes on the story itself, the premise behind “The Devil’s Meeting,” and Shyamalan’s “Night Chronicles” series.  The deleted scenes would have added little to the film and the featurettes are nothing more than extended commercials/trailers for the film.  The disc is also D-Box and BD-Live enabled.