After M. Night Shyamalan's recent clunker The Last Airbender, we weren't expecting much out of his devil-in-an-elevator movie. But then, neither was anyone else. Didn't audiences GROAN when his name popped up onscreen during the Devil trailer? So now that the film has opened and critics can finally talk about it, how did it actually turn out?
Surprisingly, according to some critics ... it was just as bad as we feared it would be.
While according to others ... it wasn't.
Here are five (sort of) positive and five (sort of) negative reviews of Devil.
THE BAD (Sort of)
"With no characters worth caring about, a heavy reliance on a mystery and a final-act twist, and absolutely no sense of suspense, Devil completely blows the chance to build on what could have been an effective story."
Brian Tallerico, Hollywood Chicago
" ... go in expecting, say, cogent characters or a clever plot, and you'll have a devil of a time staying in your seat."
Adam Markovitz , Entertainment Weekly
" ... the goofy 'fate' and 'coincidence' factors in the story increase, moving it over the line from kind of creepy to kind of stupid. It never recovers, and the last act is sadly unsatisfying."
Eric Snider, Film.com
"I recommend this movie to people who are scared easily because anyone who sees this film that is a fan of horror films will be sadly disappointed. I am definitely disappointed, especially considering who wrote it."
Charlotte Pickard, CMR
"The screenplay is streamlined but shallow, and director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) doesn't generate much suspense, and leaves us half-interested in getting to the drab, unsatisfying finale. Devil doesn't devise a very scary hell, and therefore is doomed to be forgotten."
John Serba, mlive
THE GOOD (Sort of)
" ... for all its preaching about guilt, redemption, punishment and salvation, Devil delivers its chills in a compact, efficient package of extreme close-ups, decently-timed surprises and the terror of dread-anticipation. It's not great, but it's not bad ... "
Roger Moore, Orlando Central
"A serviceable burst of high-end hokum, Devil classes up a flimsy, religion-themed plot (by M. Night Shyamalan) with the kind of limber cinematography only someone like Tak Fujimoto can deliver."
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Devil is no Sixth Sense or Unbreakable—for one thing, nobody in the cast is remotely the caliber of Bruce Willis—but at 80 minutes, it cannot be called overindulgent ... But the core of the suspense remains solid, and even the most jaded might find themselves jumping once or twice."
Luke Y. Thompson, E! Online
"Despite the fact that the film is flawed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, whose name gets booed whenever the trailer is shown in theaters, The Devil is still a creepy, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat horror film."
Wilson Morales, BV on Movies
" ... the climax is frightening, almost living up to the promise of all that's happened before, and the way the ending is handled feels rewarding and satisfying. After the immaculately wrung tension of the last 80 minutes, I felt like I'd seen an excellent film. "
Ben Greene, MovieWeb
After these iffy reviews, we don't know whether you plan to see Devil this weekend, but If you do catch a screening, let us know what you think.