Devil

  • Review Date: September 18, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010

Common Sense Media says

Spooky trapped-in-elevator horror tale promotes forgiveness.
  • Review Date: September 18, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid the gore, there are some ideas worth thinking about. One man manages to break the cycle of destruction by admitting his crimes and "realizing his true self." Later, another character practices forgiveness rather than revenge. Characters work together to solve problems, and they persevere in the face of death. There's also something of a spiritual message in the film's final minutes.

Positive role models

Detective Bowden seems to be the strongest character here. He tried to drink himself to death after losing his wife and son but is now a recovering alcoholic -- he's a member of AA and is back at work. On the job, he works hard to overcome the odds and to save lives. But most importantly, he learns to forgive rather than take revenge.

Violence

Whenever anyone dies in the elevator, the lights wink out, so viewers only see the results. But those results can be bloody and gory: There's a bloody corpse stabbed in the neck with a chunk of broken glass, a character hanging by the neck by a power cord, and a character's head twisted around backward. Viewers also see "imaginary" images of bloody corpses and a devil's face. A character falls out a window, and another is electrocuted -- again viewers mainly see the results, rather than the incidents themselves.

Sex

A woman in the elevator accuses a man of grabbing her bottom.

Language

A few uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "butt," "jerk," "hell," "scumbag," "damn," and "oh my God."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A cop is a recovering alcoholic. He explains how he tried to drink himself to death after the loss of his wife and child. In the movie, he's 90 days sober and meets with his sponsor. Another character causes a drunk-driving accident. Viewers see him reaching for a beer while driving.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this horror movie -- which was produced by M. Night Shyamalan (who also wrote the story) -- is about five people who are trapped in an elevator ... with the devil among them. There's a fair bit of blood and gore (though not as much as in some R-rated horror movies) and several disturbing images of dead or broken bodies. Expect some language (including "s--t") and a few sexual references, as well as a character who's a recovering alcoholic. Another character drives drunk, with tragic consequences. All of that said, older teens who can stomach the scares may find some thought-provoking ideas here about the power of forgiveness over revenge.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

On a typical workday in Philadelphia, five people find themselves trapped in an elevator. As the security and maintenance crew -- and eventually the police -- try to get them out, certain clues begin to suggest that the devil is among them, playing them against one another and destroying them one by one. Each of these five people has a secret that may have brought them together ... and even the police detective, a recovering alcoholic with a dark past, may have a specific reason for being there. Can the humans solve the mystery before the devil destroys everyone?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ever since he followed a massive hit (The Sixth Sense) with several duds (Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender), M. Night Shyamalan simply doesn't have the clout that he once had. So attaching his name as story writer and producer to this simple horror film adds a certain level of expectation -- and not of the positive variety. Surprisingly, DEVIL isn't that bad.

It's low-budget to be sure, but it's streamlined and economic. For a small package, it conjures up some effective ideas and scares, as well as some terrific atmospheric moments, ranging from the odd, upside-down opening credits to a scene of a maintenance man chasing his cap across a wind-blown rooftop. The movie may get a little too smarty-pants toward the final third, but it's easy enough to be drawn under its spell by that point. There's far less at stake here than in Shyamalan's last few letdowns, and it mostly works.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence, blood, and gore. How did it make you feel? How does it compare to what you've seen in other horror movies?

  • Did the devil give the five people a chance to redeem themselves? What message is the movie sending about revenge? What about forgiveness?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 17, 2010
DVD release date:December 21, 2010
Cast:Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green
Director:John Erick Dowdle
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Horror
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence and disturbing images, thematic material and some language including sexual references

This review of Devil was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byvolleyballnchocolate March 2, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Perfect for teens

Devil was a great movie. The plot has an interesting twist when (SPOILER) the devil rises up at the end. However, you can kind of suspect who it is until (SPOILER) she dies in the middle. Maybe kids under ten or so shouldn't watch it because it was kind of gory. But all in all, it was a good movie with positive messages.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old Written bycrazykaitlin October 23, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

good for older kids

Teen, 14 years old Written byMovieluver7329 January 9, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

I love DEVIL

I love this movie! I'm big on scary movies and think this one was really good. Don't see it if you can't take gore, or *spoiler alert* devil rising up at the end with completely black eyes and a scary voice. You might never want to ride an elevator again but it is defiantly worth seeing!

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families