Riding in an elevator is a genuine phobia for some and getting stuck in one isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. Now, imagine not only are you trapped in an elevator with four other people but one of them is also a cold-blooded killer who is picking the rest of you off one by one. That’s the simple “and then there were none” setup of the movie, Devil. M. Night Shyamalan wrote this low-budget, limited location supernatural thriller set in Philadelphia, although the setting hardly matters. I’m not a big fan of Shyamalan’s work who is a far better showman than he is a writer/director and who for years has been riding on the success of his one stroke of brilliance, The Sixth Sense.

The stripped down to the basics Devil though is a made to order rental meant to be watched in the comfort of your home with a bowl of popcorn. Chris Messina, still memorable from his turn as Claire’s mainstream lawyer boyfriend on Six Feet Under, is Detective Bowden who in the course of investigating a suicide in the area is called to the scene when things start to get out of hand.

Along for the ill-fated elevator ride are longtime character actress, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine as a temp security guard, Geoffrey Arend as a sleazy mattress salesman, Bojana Novakovic as the required attractive young woman, and Logan Marshall-Green as a mechanic.

The logical Messina tries to calm the stranded passengers down while he looks into their backgrounds. Though as far as Ramirez, a building security guard is concerned, there’s no need for an investigation. He’s convinced the devil walks among the quarantined quintet and no amount of down to earth good police work will save their lives. Of course, we know he’s right since the movie’s title is Devil. The fun is in trying to figure out which one of the group is Satan in human form, how they’re all tied together, and who will be left standing at the end.

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