Devil Preview: Trailers & Posters

Posted by Grey Friday, September 17, 2010

Wonder how exactly can a high concept one-note-plot horror film work?

No, I wasn't going to say, "Wonder no more". You see, I'm concerned with that too. And with the tagline, "From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan".

Given that, that's one of the most diabolical minds of the year, cinematically speaking, that brought you the atrociously disturbing "The Last Airbender" earlier this year. With Shyamalan being in the backseat taking credit only for the story (not the script, as the screenwriter is Brian Nelson of Hard Candy fame), will this supernatural thriller with a twist work?

The first to debut from M. Night Shyamalan's The Night Chronicles trilogy, a series of film with the common theme involving the supernatural within modern urban society, Devil are directed by brothers Drew and John Erick Dowdle, the team behind Quarantine, the Hollywood remake of the Spanish horror film REC. The basic premise is simple: Five people are trapped in a lift. To their horror, they soon discover that the Devil himself is amongst them in human form. The question: Who the devil is the devil?

For high concept as such to be pulled off in a full-length feature film, you can't help but wonder about the execution. With the film scheduled to be released today, it would help if you would check out Spinoff's interview with the directors. An excerpt below might clear the picture a little:

The premise – a group of people trapped in an elevator, one of whom is some kind of malevolent supernatural force – is intriguing for a few reasons, but something that stands out to me in terms of the challenge of making that story work is that each of the characters needs to have a lot going on to keep the mystery up. They need to be a little charming, a little relatable, a little shady, a little vulnerable…how did that effect casting? Did you work a lot on red herrings to throw the concepts into upheaval a little?

John: Absolutely. For us, a huge part of the development of this was that every time you cut to the elevator, something needs to change. You can’t just have five people in an elevator bickering and keep that interesting. Drew was the first one who really started talking about “the spotlight of suspicion.” There has to be a spotlight of suspicion that moves from one person to the next in very tangible, very clear moment. We really focused a lot of attention on going, “Now we think it’s this person. Oh wait! But then something happens, and now we think it’s this guy!” To keep that motion keeps the film interesting.

Drew: And keeping it sustained on one person for a little length of time – a little bit of you, a little bit of you, a little bit of you – we thought that might exhaust an audience. We want to spend some time to really focus on “This guy might be it” in distinct moments. And an audience might go, “Oh, the filmmakers are telling me it’s him, so it must be anyone but him!” And that reaction is fine. It makes it a fun guessing game.

It’s almost like doing it as Hitchcock would do…keeping the scenes very controlled and tight on one element at a time rather than just going, “And then there was an explosion…let’s cut to the next reel!”

Drew: Totally. And we talked about how we want each scene in the elevator to be one character’s scene. It’s their moment, and we shoot it in this subjective style where if it’s your scene, I’m shooting center punched and then looking from your point of view. With the script, we had to really analyze every elevator scene going sequentially through the movie and decide which scene was whose scene and how we would tailor the scene to them.

Are you flashing back to characters’ supposed past as they hit their scene, or is it keeping all in the moment?

Drew: It’s pretty much all in the moment. We joke that this is our third movie – and the next one if going to be the same thing – where nobody changes their clothes. [Laughter] It’s all in one day.

Reportedly, the second film in M. Night Shyamalan's The Night Chronicles trilogy is tentatively titled Twelve Strangers, a courtroom drama with a supernatural twist. The third, as yet untitled, will be one recycled from Shyamalan's original plot for the sequel to his earlier film (from a time when he don't suck so hard), Unbreakable.

Will you be checking this one out, or are you too intimidated by the name of the cursed one? Well, we'll keep this on our watch.

The official trailer.

Some of the TV spots of the film are pretty cool too.

This one called "Coincidence".

"Spanish Prayer"



"One of the passengers is attacked when the lights go out"


There's also a promo clip featuring some interviews from the directors of the film, John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, Shyamalan, and an expert on the field, Ysamur Flores, PhD Folklore and Mythology at University of California. Accordingly, the film is based on a Devil's Meeting – which is a South American mythology that the Devil is on Earth to test evildoers by tormenting them.

The Devil's Meeting

And finally, some nifty posters for the film.

Devil hits theaters today.

And this preview should end now. But for those who simply enjoyed jumping on the wagon of berating M. Night Shyamalan, you shall feel absolute joy watching this fake trailer from the jokers at College Humor.


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