XenForo Template D E V I L Studio: Universal/The Night Chronicles Year: 2010 Length: 1 hr 21 mins Genre: Horror/M. Night Shyamalan Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 BD Resolution: 1080p BD Video Codec: VC-1 (@ an average 33 mbps) Color/B&W: Color Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.0 mbps)(goes up during heavy scenes) Spanish DTS 5.1 French DTS 5.1 English DVS 2.0 Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 (Violence, Disturbing Images, Thematic Material, Language) Release Date: December 21, 2010 Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Vargas and Matt Craven Screenplay by Brian Nelson Directed by: John Erick Dowdle Story by: M.Night Shyamalan Film Rating: 3/5 Devil is a surprisingly effective low-budget horror movie, and a minor return to form by M. Night Shyamalan, whose hand is evident in this production even though he is not scripting or directing this time out. Clocking in at less than 90 minutes, and eschewing gore and heavy CGI, the film tells a simple, scary story about five passengers trapped in an elevator. And one of them is not what he or she appears to be, as the publicity has already made clear for anyone watching the film. The story owes a bit of a debt to Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” (as Shyamalan has publicly acknowledged), and the dialogue ranges from the clunky to the downright silly. But I have to admit, the movie does work. It has a few good scares in it, a few surprises, and the solid sense of overall design that Shyamalan regularly brings to his productions. Made for a low budget in Canada, with good performances by a lower tier cast, the movie has actually been quite successful, in spite of essentially being dropped into the box office in September of this year. It should be noted that this film is the first in a series of three horror films to be produced under Shyamalan’s banner, The Night Chronicles. It’s not a bad place to start. I should also note that I have waited an extra day to post this review, since it just didn’t feel right posting a review of a movie called Devil on Christmas Day… Devil has been released on standard definition DVD and Blu-ray as of this past Tuesday. The Blu-ray contains a high-definition transfer of the film along with very few extras – about 4 minutes of deleted scenes and about 7 minutes of featurette material, all presented in high definition. Further Blu-ray functionality is also part of the Blu-ray disc, including pocket BLU, My Scenes, an online ticker and trailers, as well as D-Box functionality for those people who have that capability. VIDEO QUALITY 4/5 Devil is presented in a solid 1080p AVC 2.40:1 transfer that has some satisfyingly deep black levels, and shows a variety of environments and flesh tones with aplomb. Tak Fujimoto’s dark cinematography is served well by this transfer. I should note that I am watching the film on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone is watching the film on a larger monitor and is having issues, please post them on this thread. AUDIO QUALITY 4/5 Devil is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, along with standard DTS 5.1 mixes in French and Spanish and an English DVS track. Much of this film is about the dialogue between the characters in the elevator, but there’s some effective use of directionality and surrounds, and whenever anything creepy is happening, the subwoofer joins in. SPECIAL FEATURES 1 ½/5 The Blu-Ray presentation of Devil comes with very few extras, totaling just over 10 minutes of material, albeit in high definition.. Deleted Scenes – (3:56 Total, 1080p) Three deleted scenes are included in high definition, providing more detailed introductions to three of the primary characters in the film. These scenes are really not necessary to the film, as the characters are best introduced to us in the elevator – and one of the scenes really doesn’t make any sense at all. The Story (2:32, 1080p) – It would be generous to call this a featurette, since most of the running time is taken up with clips from the movie. There are a couple of interview snippets with the filmmakers talking about the basic story of the film. The Devil’s Meeting– (2:26, 1080p) This featurette also is loaded with film clips (pretty much the same ones as in the first featurette), but it does have a few choice words from Ysamur Flores of UCLA about the origin of the featurette’s title concept in South America. The Night Chronicles – (2:15, 1080p) After yet another repetition of the film clips, there’s a few brief snippets with M. Night Shyamalan and his team about the kinds of movies he wants to make with his company. An apt comparison is made to The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. BD-Live - The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events. My Scenes - The usual bookmarking feature is included here. pocket BLU– The latest Blu-ray features of phone apps and social networking are included here for viewers with the right iPhones, Blackberries and other current hardware. D-Box– The disc is enabled with this technology, which will certainly come in handy for all the subwoofer hits when they happen here. The film and special features are subtitled in English, French and Spanish. The usual pop-up menu is present, along with a complete chapter menu. Further, when you first put the Blu-ray in the player, you’ll see various trailers from BD-Live, including Robin Hood and the usual Universal Blu-ray trailer. IN THE END... Devil is an effective low-budget horror movie that gets right to the chase and doesn’t try to overwhelm the viewer with CGI or excessive gore. It’s a minor return to form by M. Night Shyamalan, and a good omen for the two additional movies intended for production under his banner here. The Blu-ray disc holds a solid high definition transfer of the picture and sound, albeit with very skimpy extras. Fans of Shyamalan’s best work, like The Sixth Sense, are recommended to pick this up. More casual viewers will want to rent this, but they may be pleasantly surprised at the quality here. Kevin Koster December 26, 2010.