After half a decade of getting worse and worse at directing, finally M. Night Shyamalan (MNS ) decided to just hand over his themes under the guise of a trilogy of thrillers called Night Chronicles and let new writers and directors imagine the film in their unique styles. And it shows.

The good news : This will probably be the first film 'from the  MNS stable' in a long time that doesn't make it to the "Worst film of the year" category. ( Unlike say... The Village, The Lady in the Water, The Happening and finally, The Last Airbender, which will sadly make it to this year's list. )

The bad news : While the film ain't bad, it ain't anything great either.

The basic theme has 5 people stuck in an elevator that mysteriously breaks down while the voice-over and a security guard convince us and the movie characters respectively that the signs suggest one of them inside is the Devil itself. Sure enough, people start dying in the lift ( each time the light goes out ) in bizarre ways even as the security guy and an investigating detective watch via the security cameras. It's up to you to guess which one's the Devil.

Ironically, the first thing that struck me were the unique camera angles during the title sequence - so unlike MNS to try something stylish like that. Infact, the camerawork for the fist quarter leading upto the characters getting stuck in the lift is pretty nifty. After that, the options kind of get suffocated in the claustrophobic space of the elevator. But while there aren't many scary moments, there is enough mystery to keep you guessing. The acting, per se, is nothing great and you don't really care for any of the characters. Noone's getting any Oscars here.

Inevitably, there are definite touches of the old MNS visible - the ( stingy ? ) art of just hinting at what might have happened ( remember the train crash in Unbreakable ? ), the religious undercurrents ( Sixth Sense, Signs, Village ), the personal tragedy of a main character ( Signs ) and ,of course, the twist in the tale.

Having said all this, at 80 minutes, the film is short, simple and will keep you guessing and more importantly, AWAKE !! That's a big plus from his last few films ( I actually envied the people in The Happening who got to kill themselves, while I had to watch the whole movie hoping for a twist that never came. )

I give it 2.5/5. Maybe there's hope for 'the mind of Shyamalan' yet.

4 Comments

Rohan said…
Is it worth 150 bucks at adlabs or should I wait for the dvd rip??
Pythoroshan said…
without doubt, the dvdrip... you aint gonna miss any grandiose cinematography.
Anita :) said…
Glad u cud stay awake :) Sadly thats how we rate movies of these days. :(
Grayquill said…
Gee wilikers, I gotta get out more. I have not seen one of the movies you mentioned in the post. I suppose with that kind of record I probably will not see this one either, but why should I? it's only a 2.5
thanks