The setup is simple: it’s the wrath of Satan… in a lift. Five strangers get stuck in an elevator between the 20th and 21st floors of a swanky Philadelphia office block. When they start dying off, the ultra-religious lift operator knows exactly what’s going on: each of the five has a dark secret, and now Beelzebub has come to claim their souls.
Despite his staunchly Catholic education, Shyamalan has managed to keep his own movies largely free of religious dogma, Mel Gibson’s crisis of faith in ‘Signs’ notwithstanding. But ‘Devil’’s subject matter leaves no such room for obfuscation: this is an aggressively, conservatively Christian movie, loaded with damnation and redemption and snarkily dismissive of short-sighted non-believers. It’s not a bad film, as such, just a silly, unconvincing one: entertaining enough in its way, but crude, inert and quickly forgotten.