Shyamalan Returns to His Horror Roots with "Devil"

10/18/2009 Posted by Admin

By our new guest blogger Rob Stammitti of

2010 looks to be a big year for M. Night Shyamalan. With his high-profile film adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender in post-production and aimed for a summer release, Shyamalan seems to be moving out of his comfort zone with his direction. The polarizing filmmaker hasn’t forgotten his horror roots, however, as a wholly different production is eyeing a release next year as well: Devil, with a story conceived by Shyamalan and penned by 30 Days of Night scribe Brian Nelson.

Screenrant provides a brief glimpse at what kind of film we can expect:

“Shyamalan’s next story, Devil, a horror-thriller, is being backed by Universal and directed by brothers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (Quarantine) with actor Chris Messina (Julie and Julia) attached to star. Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night) wrote the script based on Shyamalan’s story, the details of which are being kept a tightly guarded secret. I’m not really sure why a movie based on a story no one has heard about would be kept secret, unless Universal is concerned that pre-filming buzz would either be highly critical or ruin one of those “Shyamalan Twists™”.

Universal’s decision to keep the plot and overall production under wraps may be a wise one, as early online responses – generally negative - spread rather quickly regarding Shyamalan’s script for The Happening. But Devil may be just what Shyamalan needs to gain back some faith from fans of his early horror endeavors, even if it’s not his own directorial effort, and the intriguing vision of horror faux-documentarians the Dowdle brothers can only assist in providing Shyamalan's storytelling with a fresh and unique style.

I haven’t found any of M. Night’s work to be too problematic, conceptually speaking, but the translation from concept to script and ultimately to screen doesn’t always do his ideas any favors, especially in Lady in the Water or the aforementioned The Happening. Hopefully Devil proves to be a return to form and to the originality and intensity of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable that Shyamalan's supporters have been waiting for.

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  1. Charles said...

    Terrific story. He's been lacking as of late. Let's hope he gets back on track.