The only reason I consented to watch Devil was that I looked on the info for the film on the TV...you know, the little bit of summation when you press your Info button, and it said "A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them."
|Something bit her when the lights went out. BIT her. Gaah!|
So, Devil. One of the five is the devil. (The point of this post is seriously coming.) Thing is, it seems like nowadays you have to be sneaky and subtle to catch an audience off guard, to surprise them, to get beyond the cliches. Doesn't it? You have to find new, inventive ways to sneak up on readers/viewers so they don't see the next killing/creepy event coming. In an elevator, what are you going to do? The movie wasn't particularly good, it lacked a certain something I can't put my finger on (good acting? depth of characters? Subtly or complexity of the devil?), but it did one thing right: it made it really clear when the next scary thing was going to happen--instead of sneaking up on you, it told you. As a result, it was super scary. I will explain.
One by one, the people in the elevator get picked off. We know it's the devil doing it, but we don't know who he is yet (I totally guessed it early on though). The people in the elevator just think there's a psycho killer among them but they don't know who it is, either. Instead of being sneaky and pulling leg hairs off people, the devil makes the elevator lights go out every time he decides to knock off another person. So the elevator shakes, and the screen goes black. Then you know. You know something is happening, but you can't see it. It was brilliant! Giving us a visual cue made us on edge waiting for the next visual cue! Especially because we couldn't see it--yet the darkness was a sure sign of bad things! And for scaredy cats like me, I could leave the room every time the screen went black!
What do you think about this technique? What's the scariest scene or technique for showing the monster getting you that you've seen?