Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has made a career out of assaulting audiences’ nerves with his tense and twisting thrillers. Now, for the new film “Devil,” he’s called in reinforcements. Shyamalan serves as “Devil” producer and story creator, but he’s brought brothers Drew and John Erick Dowdle (“Quarantine”) onboard to handle directing duties. Opening Friday, the film tells the tale of five strangers trapped in an elevator who are 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 a 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.