Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has made a career out of assaulting audiences’ nerves with his tense and twisting thrillers, and now for the new film Devil he’s called in reinforcements.
Shyamalan serves as Devil’s producer and story creator while bringing the Dowdle brothers (Quarantine) on board to handle directing duties. Opening next Friday, the film tells the tale of five strangers trapped in an elevator and struggling to uncover which of them hides a diabolical secret before time runs out.
Originally intending to direct Devil himself, Shyamalan was impressed with the Dowdles’ interpretation: “They just made a really scary movie, which I guess is the bottom line. And it’s the fun scary. You know how there’s, like, trauma scary? That’s not what this is. You’ll actually be giggling at yourself because you’re jumping so much. That was really our goal. After seeing Quarantine, I said I wanted that level of fun ride to Devil.”
Devil will be the first in a planned series of films called The Night Chronicles, in which other directors and screenwriters will work with story outlines provided by Shyamalan.
“I’m always choosing one (idea) over the other for myself to make, but I really want to tell these stories, so I thought, ‘Let’s go out and get some great filmmakers to help,’” he explains.
After Shyamalan’s last outing, the more family-oriented The Last Airbender, he’s eager to jump back into the fright business.
“It’s kind of cool to have a family movie come out and then Devil, which is the sort of movie I would love to go see myself. I’m a tension junkie, a crack addict for suspense,” he laughs.