I assume this has to do with making three really good movies to start his career and then making a series of, if not horrible, certainly disappointing films to follow. I have seen all of them except The Last Airbender and the only one that really made me want to poke out my eyes was The Village (and I admit my reaction was overboard).
BUT as I noted, this ISN’T really an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
What it is, is a passable horror/suspense movie. It is moderately well written—don’t get me wrong it is not brilliant—and it moves along and never bores. It has a sort of theme; you have to ask for forgiveness to get it. But it never gets deep or preachy. This is a good thing in a horror movie. And this may not be a horror movie REALLY. If you want to split hairs it is more of a suspense movie. You wait for things to happen.
There are stereotypes. There are eye rolling lines. There are even a few “oh lord why would they do that moments” (but surprisingly few of these). The director has an annoying tick wherein he seems to think making the screen go solid black for extended periods is SPPPPOOOOKY (it isn’t). The film might have benefited from a more low budget approach. The “big”, clean and clear way the film is shot doesn’t lend itself to the overall mood of the picture. Instead of making the screen go black, why not go for just really low light a la Rec?
And just once, just ONCE, in a movie like this I would like to see some underling who is sent to the basement to check on something say…”Nah. I don’t think so. NOT going into the basement. I’m out. I quit, check you on the flip side.”
Ultimately Devil is JUST good. It isn’t special but it is a professional product. They tried to make a watchable movie. Many horror films don’t. Yhey cynically remake Friday the 13th , which wasn't particularly good to begin. Go to see Devil at a matinee for $5 or a third run theater in a couple of weeks. Maybe that is what movies from Night Chronicles--a production "entity" that will produce a series of supernatural thrillers--are about? Maybe they will make some quality medium budget horror movies that are not just the normal, awful slasher movie fare? I hope so anyway!