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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references.

Reviewed by: Joseph A. Bisconti

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Supernatural Thriller
1 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 17, 2010 (wide—2,700+ theaters)
DVD: December 21, 2010
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures


Satan in the Bible

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer


FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer


SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Bible is true.

How do we know the Bible is true? Answer

Bible and science

Bible archaeology

Biblical prophecies

Featuring: Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Logan Marshall-Green, Chris Messina (Bowden), Caroline Dhavernas, Jacob Vargas, more »
Director: Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle
Producer: Media Rights Capital, Night Chronicles, M. Night Shyamalan, Joseph Boccia, Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle, more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem.”

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” —1 Peter 5:8, The Holy Bible.

“Devil” opens with this statement which explains the goal of Satan for this world, then takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of horror and death proving that quote’s validity.

Five people with unsavory pasts are mysteriously trapped in a high-rise elevator in Philadelphia: unbeknown to four of them, the fifth occupant is Satan. Unmasking him, and trying to survive all the bloody violence, both inside and outside of the elevator, keeps the characters and the audience on the edge.

Detective Bowden played by Chris Messina gives a good performance, as the detective who silently but frantically tries to figure it all out and get in before it’s too late. Ramirez, one of the security officers played by Jacob Vargas tells Detective Bowden that what is going on is really demonic, but for the moment the detective doesn’t believe it.

The name of Jesus was used only once as an expletive, “Oh… G*d” (3), and the s-word was used at least 8 times, plus *ss (4), d*mn (4), hell (3). Also, there was no nudity.

Because this movie dealt with repentance, unforgiveness and its display of how the Devil can gain a foothold through disobedience to God’s Word, I would recommend it, for these reasons only. However, because of the violence and fear, I would not recommend this movie, especially for children and families. The moral of the story is that when you go against God’s Word, you open your mind to demonic attack and control through anger, greed, unforgiveness, lust, etc. In movies such as these I would love to see believers take authority over demons as Jesus told us to in His Word.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Hands down the most redemptive movie I’ve seen in a long time. …The way they started the movie off with a very relevant scripture from 1 Peter 5 to the whole theme of good vs. evil throughout the movie, to the very redemptive and encouraging ending. What a way to end a “horror” movie! We actually walked out praising God for His grace in forgiveness and Sovereign power over His creation. Go see it!
My Ratings: Moviemaking quality: 5
—James, age 28 (USA)
Positive—First of all, I was a little skeptical on this movie, because of how Hollywood usually portrays evil and the supernatural. I was quite pleasantly suprised. This movie has a great message about forgiveness and the power of sin can have on our lives. Yes, there are some bloody death scenes, but, other than that, really no language or sexual content. I think that if you easily get offended by death or blood then don’t go see it. I think if you look at the movie, as a whole, it wasn’t about the death and evil, but in the end that forgiveness sets you free and that the devil has to yield to God.

So I can’t give it a positive for moral rating, just because of some of the violence, but other than that very well done Hollywood and finally a movie that has a great message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Joel, age 26 (Canada)
Positive—Believers need to do their part and support films like this. The lamestream critics have it wrong. This is a superbly-crafted, thrilling, moving, and original masterpiece! A true treasure. M. Night Shyamalan has crafted a story that calls to mind the work of storytelling geniuses and greats such as Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling. Like them, Shyamalan has a way of using “fantastical” elements to tell a story from “everyday reality” (like something as commonplace as riding an elevator) that convey the deep truths of life and the universe, which all too many people in our modern age tend to overlook and never give thought to.

At the end of the day, as “fictitious” as the story’s premise may seem, the film manages to reflect what could very well be the truth of what reality REALLY is—of how things really are on a daily basis! THAT’s what makes the story so compelling… the “Devil” in the movie represents the very devil many of us might feel like we can recognize—whether it’s the force behind evil criminals we hear about on the evening news or even our own “personal demons” that we ourselves deal with: our sins, our addictions, etc. …

In the movie, it’s crystal clear the “Devil” of the story is in fact the Biblical devil, Satan himself. It has just the right amount of horror and humor. It is a suspenseful mystery that will keep you at the edge of your seat eager to play the guessing game and find out what’s next. The key characters are very engaging to explore. Although the acting is not “Oscar-caliber,” it is well cast. Some of the horror elements are definitely inappropriate for children under 13, but they are not gratuitous. There were a few jokes or instances that implied sexual innuendo. If I recall correctly, the Lord’s name was used in vain, but not in a swearing or cussing fashion. Otherwise, this movie is remarkable for how “clean” it is.

The story stands so well on its own without the typical junk Hollywood overloads their products with. Despite not being a “Bible” story per se, the movie is replete with both overt and subtle cleverly placed Biblical references and allusions to our Christian faith. There was also a healthy dose of mythological elements as well, but they all serve to promote rather than detract from the overall Biblical worldview the movie operates from.

Yet, unlike other faith-based films, the artistic and production values of the film are quite high and not sacrificed at the expense of sharing the message. Aside from its sheer “entertainment value,” believers will feel like they can relate to it on a deeper, personal level and hopefully find that the story lingers with them and keeps them thinking long after they leave the theaters.

I pray to the LORD that this movie surpasses the will of the critics and the will of the Hollywood establishment who enviously long for Shymalan’s demise, by having great box office success. I urge everyone to go see this film!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Radiance, age 22 (USA)
Positive—This movie was excellent both from a movie-making and Christian perspective. It was exciting and scary without being overly gory. It was riddled with Christian symbolism and messages. There were numerous positive Christian allusions and even blatant Christian themes and messages. Although it’s a secular movie, with some objectionable content, the redemptive/biblical messages, themes about good and evil, and many other positive qualities far out weigh the few negative ones.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tyler, age 18 (USA)
Positive—Although not mentioning Christ in the movie may be a shortfall of it, the movie does end up with repentance and forgiveness as well as sacrifice as the main themes in it. There is no doubt they are dealing with the devil from the Bible in this movie, and the thought is expressed that you are where you are for a purpose.

I hesitated going to this movie as I thought it was just another hacker/slasher movie, this time using the adversary from the Bible, however I was surprised at how much a Christian can pull from this movie.

Warning: it is gory and scary in a jump out at you type of way… would not recommend taking very young kids to it. If you are an adult or an older teenager, go see it, and crack open your Bible afterwards and praise the Lord most high that he loves you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ralph, age 51 (USA)
Positive—This was an excellent movie. It had a powerful message about forgiveness. It was well cast and well acted. It was very suspenseful and one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best films to date. Due to the tense scenes in the movie, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under 14.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sarah Modisett Lee, age 45 (USA)
PositiveEphesians 6:12 tells us (in the New American Standard Bible) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 5 people board an elevator. One of them is not what they appear to be. Since all the killing was the work of the devil in this particular movie, I gave it a higher moral rating. If it had been your standard, run-of-the-mill slasher flick, I would have dropped that rating.

I must say, my favorite part of this movie was when the devil asked the Afghan War vet (***SPOILER ALERT***) “Do you really think you can be forgiven?” Isn’t that what Satan asks each and every one of us? I almost jumped out of my seat and shouted in the middle of the theater, “YES! Yes, you CAN be forgiven!”

The amount of blood and gore (even though justifiable by plot and circumstance) might turn some Christians away. This movie is not for everyone. Paul teaches us about meat that has been sacrificed to idols. If you feel it a sin to watch movies like this, then stay away. If you feel no such compunction, then feel free to watch and be edutained. But in your liberty, don’t cause your brother, who feels it a sin, to stumble.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Pete, age 31 (USA)

Positive—From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan, a practicing Hinduism who had a Catholic education, brought us not only “SIGN” (an alien invasion of a family where the down trodden patriarch renew his faith), now brings us DEVIL. By quoting the opening scene with a Bible verse, it daftly maintained the theme of that verse to the very satisfying end. “DEVIL” followed five mysterious strangers who are stuck together in an elevator and through a strange and inexplicable turn of event, one by one, they are being killed when darkness fell upon them.

What makes DEVIL work is the well crafted script, the talented casts, great cinema photography and the ending that sealed the whole theme of good and evil. Too many horror films concluded with evil being victorious, here, good did not just prevailed, but it makes you think about the possibility of a real hell. DEVIL is not as entertaining as “DRAG ME TO HELL,” also a film which starred Bojana Novakovic, but it delivered and is a sign (pun intended) for the return of a creative genius, M. Night Shyamalan.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mang Yang, age 38 (USA)
Positive—I am a huge fan of M. Night Shylmalan. I have seen practically all of his movies, except for “The Sixth Sense.” When I heard about his new movie, Devil, I was up in the air as to whether or not I should see this film. Only three months later did I finally decided that I really wanted to watch this movie and rented it on demand. I must say I wasn’t disappointed in my choice. This movie did what it was suppose to do to you… thrill.

Yes, there were some very scary moments in this film so this is definetely not for anyone with sensitive stomachs or for children, period. For thriller fans this is definetely a movie you might enjoy. The cinematography was impressive and the performances were over the top.

The moral is that as the reviewer mentioned, we are never allowed to let our guard down. As Christians we must put on the full armor of God and resist the power and temptations of our advesary, Satan. Overall, a terrific film, but not for the faint of heart.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Alexander Malsan, age 20 (USA)




Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was really good. I remember when I first saw the trailer, I thought it was going to be another horror that exploits christianity. Then I saw the phrase “an M. Night Shyamalan film,” and I gave it another thought. …It had just come out on DVD and blu-ray when my dad surprised me with the rental. Obviously, I started having little anticipation anxiety issues in my stomach. We put the movie in and it was an automatic interest peak in my mind. It started off with a scripture from the Bible. Throughout the movie it started giving you little hints and doubts towards each character, making you wonder which one was the Devil. They all had their own creepiness feel to the characters that made the wait almost unbearable. I personally think that M. Night was making up for the failure of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” 'cause this one totally blew it out of the water. This movie was amazing, but beware if your claustrophobic or have problems with one room movies like “Panic Room.” “Devil” had a constant reference to the Bible in the justice system that God placed in the Devil’s hands. Of course, the movie is about an even more positive note to it. Repentance.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Whitney F., age 13 (USA)