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The Dowdle Brothers exclusively premiered a five-and-a-half-minute scene from DEVIL at Chicago Comic Con!! So how was it?

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. So Chicago Comic Con/Wizard World just wrapped up here yesterday, and one of the absolutely highlights of the film program (which included an appearance by CENTURION director Neil Marshall and a screening of the great doc THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS) was the first-ever look at an extended clip from the upcoming release DEVIL, from filmmakers Drew and John Erick Dowdle. The film is the first from the production house known as The Night Chronicles, featuring story ideas from M. Night Shyamalan (who also produced), who hand selects up-and-coming directors and screenwriters to bring them to the screen. I would liken the idea to a "Twilight Zone"-style anthology, but with feature films instead. After opening the panel with the trailer for DEVIL, the Dowdles discussed as much as they could about the films plot, but we ended up talking more (thanks to some great audience questions) about the way the film was made in terms of claustrophobic atmosphere, lighting, sound design, etc., as well as how hands on Shyamalan was with this production. Then we premiered exclusively a five-and-a-half-minute clip involving a moment in the film where the younger woman trapped in the elevator is apparently bitten when the lights go out. You see a glimpse of the scene in the trailer, but this clip revealed that another of the five persons in the enclosed space has blood on him when the lights come back on. As much as he tries to hide it, the blood is noticed. The masterful Bokeem Woodbine really stands out in the sequence as the security guard stuck in the elevator. Meanwhile, on the ground floor, the maintenance/security team is attempting to fix the elevator problem, not realizing that its being stuck is likely the work of some sort of supernatural force and not a mechanical difficulty. The Dowdles made it clear that in DEVIL there would be long moments of pitch black screen, and that they truly leaned on their sound designers to fill those spaces with eerie noises. They also discussed the methods they used to make the elevator feel just a little bit smaller, and how they worked closely with their cinematographer, the legendary Tak Fujimoto (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE SIXTH SENSE, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, SIGNS) to lights such a ridiculously tight space. I was fortunate enough to talk to the Dowdles minutes after they got off stage at Chicago Comic Con, and they are two of the nicest individuals you will ever meet, so much so that they were willing and able to talk about things such as the fate of and reaction to one of their previous films, THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES. I give them credit for not shying away from the tough questions and for setting the record straight in some cases. I think you'll enjoy their honesty and the entire interview, and I'll have that for you closer to the release date of DEVIL, which is September 17. Many more interviews to be posted before the week is out. Stay tuned…
-- Capone capone@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    What?

    by HOTDOGVNDR

    M. Night has that kind of cred to try to help up and comers?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Oh and

    by HOTDOGVNDR

    FIRSTEES!

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I had to kill HOTDOGVNDR for making a mistake...

    by DickJones

    ...in doing a "FIRST ZOMG" post.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Who cares about this? KIDS IN THE HALL are back on TV.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Anybody know where somebody who doesn't have cable can see it?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    M. Night

    by ronaldtheshort

    Did anyone ask the brothers Dowdle how they felt about people groaning every time they see M. Night's name pop up in the trailer?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    I saw 3 films this saturday

    by hatemphd

    All 3 films had a devil as a trailer. And yes, everyone lost interest (and groaned) the second "M. Night" appeared on screen. They also groaned at the title of the film.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    what's up with shyamalan

    by Lucky_Day

    M. Night must be absolutely clueless to how tainted his name is these days. Either that or he must have a gigantic ego that won't let him not showcase his name on everything he's involved in.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Just don't let shamalamadingdong direct Airbender again

    by FeralAngel

    Man, that film could have been epic. The cast was decent, the effects grand, the soundtrack amazing. Shamwow really dropped the ball. I hope there is a sequel but that Night will NOT direct or script it. Come on, Nickelodeon, Avatar deserves better than that.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    That goofy looking guy in this. . .

    by Nice Marmot

    The shnoz-berries guy from the beginning of Super Troopers. He's married to CHRISTINA HENDRICKS . . .

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:15 p.m. CST

    "So how was it?"

    by Bass Ackwards

    You shouldn't pose a question in the headline if you have no intention of answering it.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:16 p.m. CST

    I expect this to get a lot of backlash

    by Kammich

    Simply because of Shyamalan's name being attached. But honestly, I love the concept of what his new "production company" is doing. For all his critiques, it is hard to deny that Shyamalan has some very interesting genre ideas floating around in his had, so handing them off to separate talents and letting them craft low-risk, genre films out of it seems like a great idea that COULD produce a few gems. The trailer for "Devil" looks intriguing enough, and enlightening me to the fact that one of my all-time favorite DP's is working on it only has me more intrigued.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Oh, and re: Neil Marshall

    by Kammich

    You mention Marshall in this article and I mentioned this in a completely random talkback last night, but I thought I'd bring it up again... for those of you with the HDNet channel, they are playing Neil Marshall's "Centurion" on Wednesday night at 9 PM eastern. It doesn't hit theaters until the 27th and it costs $10.99 to view On Demand, so DVR that shit if you get a chance. I expect it to kick all sorts of ass, and if it does, I'll do my rightful duty as a film nerd and kick my $10.99 forward to Mr. Marshall.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST

    "the masterful Bokeem Woodbine"

    by TresEquis

    Umm, okay.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Who are the ad wizards...

    by wampa 1

    ...that came up with this one?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    "The masterful Bokeem Woodbine..."

    by DraculaDillenger

    Really? Is this a joke?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Yes, Shyamalan should keep working

    by D.Vader

    If he keeps giving work to younger directors and screenwriters, hell yes, I'm all for this.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Shayamalan is involved, therefore

    by D o o d

    I'm out!<p>I'm sure they're nice guys but Shayamalan is just a name to avoid in the movies!

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 3:23 p.m. CST

    ronaldtheshort

    by schadenfreudian

    That was the exact reaction that filled Hall H during the Trailer Park part of the day's programming.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    on Saturday.

    by schadenfreudian

    end of line

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Jesus fuck

    by schadenfreudian

    at SDCC, that is.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    I want to see a reaction video of Shyamalan.......

    by applescruff

    ......reacting to a video of a crowd reacting to his name popping up on the trailer to this movie. The look on his face would create lulz for days! Fucking egotistical prick.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Saw the trailer at Scott Pilgrim

    by BlaGyver

    I've seen Scott Pilgrim twice, both screenings had this trailer attached. Both screenings of said trailer got exceptional audience reaction...until Shyamalan's name popped up. At which point, I shit you not, the laughter was equal to the "I have to pee on her" line in Scott Pilgrim, which got the most laughs at both screenings. Fucking joke. I'm actually kind of excited about the movie because it does look interesting, but I'm worried for it solely based on the name attatched.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Same reaction to M. Night at my screening...

    by leshrac55

    People seemed interested in the movie until his name popped up, and then everyone started laughing and making snarky comments about Airbender. Honestly, same thing happened to me... when his name popped up I just assumed he directed it as well and I basically lost all interest. He needs to really rehab his name before he starts attaching it to shit again.. I have to imagine it's a net negative now.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Yeah, was a decent trailer but once his name came up

    by turketron_2

    Everyone lost interest and groans and snickering was heard throughout the room. WHAT A TWEEST!

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Tak Fujimoto is terrific.

    by kevred

    This project hasn't convinced me to be interested yet, but you know it's going to look good, anyway.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Whats more

    by BlaGyver

    Everything in the trailer became unintentionally hilarious. "TURN ON THE LIIIIIIGHTS!!!!!"

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    People snickered and groaned in my theater too

    by D.Vader

    No joke. It really surprised me. Everyone was into the trailer until his name popped up. Then they lost it. Poor guy. Its amazing how far he's fallen. It can't be equated with any other filmmaker or actor, can it?

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Laughter

    by Yeah I Wrote That

    I saw the trailer online a while back and thought it was well-done. Then I saw it at an advance screening of Pilgrim in nyc, and the laughter was deafening the second Shyamalan's name appeared.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Looks promising

    by thot

    The trailer has me hooked. The Happening looked like the crap that it was from the get-go. He may redeem himself here.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Audiences groaned...

    by ConfusedPanda

    at the last two movies I've seen which had the Devil trailer. More so a mixture of frustration, disappointment, and mocking laughter.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    clarification: because of m. night's name...

    by ConfusedPanda

    ...not because of the quality of the trailer. I assumed the audience was interested until the twist that M. Night was involved.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I'm trying to imagine...

    by ConfusedPanda

    a movie that somehow doesn't reveal that it's directed by M. Night until you're in the theater watching the movie. I'm not sure how they'd pull it off, but there are a lot possibilities.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Ha, yeah..."It looks good....BUT THE TWIST"

    by BlaGyver

    is that M. Night Shyamalamadingdong is involved.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Groaning at M. Night

    by ronaldtheshort

    I have seen this trailer in front of every movie I've attended in theaters for the past month and a half. That's at least 6 or 7 times now. Every time M. Night's name is displayed people groan and laugh. EVERY time. Sometimes I just thought it might be the geek savvy audiences I had seen it with at the Alamo Drafthouse, but then when I'd go to just a normal AMC, people would react the same way. I have a mental "countdown to groans" in my head every time. Gives me something to take my mind off this lame trailer.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 7:58 p.m. CST

    ~~BlackwhiteRomance.com~~

    by adismith

    ~~BlackwhiteRomance.com~~

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    This is Incredible

    by D o o d

    I went to see Scott Pilgrim last night and the trailer for Devil came up. Exactly the same thing happened. People were interested up until the point M Nights name came up, then it was a mixture of Groans and Laughter.<p>I'm really hoping that this is the end of M Nights career. I'm sick of his movies!

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:12 p.m. CST

    ronaldtheshort, same here

    by catlettuce4

    During the trailer for this people grumbled and booed when M Night's name came up on screen. Normal, everyday theater with presumably average folks in attendance.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Though I must say

    by catlettuce4

    The trailer was laughable to me as well, on it's own. I feel it's a lame idea.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    gee...

    by MC-909

    I wonder if audiences snickered and groaned when M. Night's name came up in the trailer.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    The groans for the trailer before Scott Pilgrim...

    by Nice Marmot

    ... don't really count. Those audiences are full of the douchiest of fanboys. If M.Night gets those groans before something like Salt or Lottery ticket, then M.Night will really start feeling the heat.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 8:52 p.m. CST

    MC-99

    by justmyluck

    I saw the "Devil" trailer at a packed Saturday screening of "Scott Pilgrim", and it wasn't a snicker or groan, but a wave of laughter that went through the whole auditorium when the "from the mind of" M. Night credit appeared. I shit you not. It will be a miracle if Shyamalan resurrects his career/audience.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Re: Groaning and Laughing

    by Traumnovelle

    Oh man. When I went to see Inception the trailer ran for Devil, and I wasn't expecting it, I didn't know it was coming, and when his name popped up I BURST out laughing. Not a snicker, but a full-blown guffaw. Max Cady style. And that got everyone else laughing too. I'm so happy that it's so widespread. He deserves this. He made his own bed.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 10:34 p.m. CST

    But..

    by Traumnovelle

    ..I didn't mention how unforced it was. I wasn't even trying to laugh. I would have rather NOT have laughed loudly. I would have tried to stifle it down to at least a low giggle, but I couldn't help it. It exploded out. <P> And yea, people have laughed each time I've seen it a theater, 3 times now.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 10:58 p.m. CST

    And it's sad

    by BlaGyver

    Because this trailer is actually halfway decent and M. Night aside, I'm kinda interested. The one thing that's having me hold hope for the project is that his involvement is just as producer and the actual idea for the movie. As much as I loathe him, his ideas tend to be pretty awesome (The Happening aside). Even Lady in the Water could have looked good on paper.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Nice Marmot

    by hatemphd

    I saw scott pilgrim, the expendables, and inception this past saturday. <p> 3 different films with 3 different target audiences. The negative reaction was the same in each.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST

    To those who laughed at M. Night's name...

    by DickBallsworth

    If he thought like you he'd kill himself. Your impression of his career is not his impression of his career. It’s something you read on Google or something. France's favorite movie is 'The Village.' It’s sad for him to even hear you think like that. Only time will take that cynicism in your point of view and eradicate it. Most of his salary goes to get the sequel rights to his movies just so they don't get exploited.

  • Aug. 23, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Fuck France

    by Saluki

    The reaction is Universal. I've seen the goddamn trailer twice in front of Inception and twice in front of Scott Pilgrim. Groans and laughter in equal amounts. This flick is FUCKED.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 1 a.m. CST

    Dead to me

    by badmovienite

    Shymalan is dead to me. www.badmovienite.com Twitter: @badmovienitecom

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 1:41 a.m. CST

    justmyluck...

    by MC-909

    Oh yeah, I know. It happened at my screening of the Expendables on Sunday. I just thought it was funny that nearly every single comment in the TB so far was saying the same thing. <p> Also, the girl is the devil.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 4:21 a.m. CST

    I hope Shyamalan insisted on...

    by buggerbugger

    ...having a cameo in this film. At a really tense moment in this tiny, claustrophobic lift, I want Shyamalan to nonsensically rise up behind someone's shoulder in order to impart something profound or mysterious-sounding to the characters and then either sink back down, off-camera, or maybe climb out via the hatch in the ceiling.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 4:29 a.m. CST

    'To those who laughed at M. Night's name...'

    by quantize

    None of which excuses the absolute excrement he's been serving up...you sound like his tampon. Wake the fuck up.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST

    he's a terrible filmmaker

    by FleshMachine

    1st 2 films were good...the rest...various kinds of garbage.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST

    laughter at his name when trailer played in my theater too

    by FleshMachine

    in my theater too

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST

    in my theater too

    by Nice Marmot

    too

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST

    too

    by Nice Marmot

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    "long moments of pitch black screen…"

    by DarthChiChi

    Which would instantly make it better than anything Shyamalan has been involved with in over a decade.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Are these reviews proofread?

    by oogles

    Not to be a dick, but the grammar in this review is awful.

  • Aug. 24, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST

    'To those who laughed at M. Night's name...'

    by DickBallsworth

    Uh, actually all I did was directly copy Night's own douchebaggy quotes from that Mexico film convention when a reporter asked him to comment on how the audiences have rejected him since his string of poorly received films and if he thinks selling out for a commercial product would win back his fans. The video is all over the place, and if you haven't seen it yet then you're a failure as a fanboy AND as a film geek. Thusly, go fuck yourself and quit wasting my time. Thanks tons!

  • Aug. 25, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    just a reminder

    by v3d

    M. Night's most successful film was in fact inspired/ripped off from the low budget classic "Carnival of Souls".