The YouTube reaction video is gone, but I was blessed to see it first hand at a preview audience who seemed to express interest in the film until seeing whose mind this "new nightmare" sprung from. The same groans. The same laughter. Despite scripting duties credited to David Slade's screenwriter, Brian Nelson (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) and the director's chair(s) inhabited by Drew & John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) theories are already running wild on what the twist might be. Is everyone already dead and the elevator is their own personal hell? Is there even a devil at all. We thought we might save you a little time and do some speculating of our own based solely upon what we know from the trailer itself.
The setup is simple enough. Five people (three men, two women) get into a high-rise elevator and get stuck somewhere in-between the floors. The lights have a problem staying on and during one outage, a weird insect-like sound is heard and the young woman aboard believes something may have bit her. With suspicions beginning to rise and security looking on from the control room (including a flash that apparently shows all five of them dead) the trailer politely lets us in on a little secret.
ONE OF THESE FIVE PEOPLE.....IS NOT.....WHO THEY APPEAR TO BE
Alrighty then. If we are to take this advertisement at its word, then someone trapped on that elevator is holding something back. Perhaps one is going through transgender surgery or is just a scientologist. But for the sake of argument, let us assume that one of them either IS or has some association with Beelzebub. And here are your suspects in no specific order.
#1 - THE GUY IN THE HOODIE (Logan Marshall-Green)
Guys like this always arouse immediate suspicion. Besides, what is he doing inside that fancy office building? Doubtful he is delivering mail or food in that red bag he's carrying. He is the last one to get into the elevator. Oooh, suspicious. Could everything have been avoided if the security guard wasn't nice enough to let him in as the doors were closing? He seems awfully willing to allow the others to search his pockets since that is the first place the Prince of Darkness would put his pitchfork and magical fire powers.
#2 - THE OLD LADY (Jenny O'Hara)
They can never be trusted in horror films. Always looking innocent. You rarely see good old ladies torn limb from limb by monsters. But they are frequently the subject of being possessed (see: Dead Alive, Mom, Legion) or just being old hags intent on disrupting your day (see: just about any Sam Raimi film). Notice how she is the only one in the trailer without a line of dialogue? What is she hiding? Is that her shadow writhing about? Is she being electrocuted or just transforming into a horned red beast?
#3 - THE SECURITY GUARD (Bokeem Woodbine)
"Don't blame me," he says right off the bat. As the lone black man in the group, his odds are surviving a horror film are immediately diminished. Besides we all know the white man is the devil, right?
#4 - THE HOT CHICK (Bojana Novakovic)
As it usually goes for cute, young gals with bountiful displays of cleavage, she is going to scream a lot. And if anyone is really getting their fair share of terror in these two-and-a-half minutes, it is certainly her. She claims to have been bitten. She is in a large knife standoff with the hoodie. "Don't come near me, any of you," she warns only to be attacked by something through the glass. Is this all meant to throw us off the track though? Her first line to the security guard is "Do I look like such a threat?" Considering Bojana's last two roles were the relative of the curse-spewing gypsy in Drag Me To Hell and as Mel Gibson's daughter, I would say the answer is an unequivocal "YES!"
#5 - THE GUY IN THE BUSINESS SUIT (Geoffrey Arend)
Must work in the building, right? Wall Street type? Pretty evil already, no? You might recognize the actor as one of the friends from (500) Days of Summer, or the guy who ate all the pot and then licked snozzberries from the beginning of Super Troopers. He's also the guy who just married the gorgeous Christina Hendricks, longtime crush of Firefly fans before hitting the big time on Mad Men. As far as I am concerned, you can call off the search right now. Because any guy as lucky as him to snag a gal like her, must either have some arrangement signed in blood with Louis P. Cypher or is the devil himself.
Aside from a male voice asking "who are you?" and Bokeem about to be attacked by the guy from Timecrimes, it is really anybody's guess as to who the Devil is going to be. I'm not sure who Caroline Dhavernas plays in the film, but I'm guessing it isn't her because she is an angel. But since Night thinks so much of us film critics to include one in Lady in the Water who gets all his speculations wrong, we may as well live up to his expectations. People are laughing from city-to-city over Devil, and the guy only has a story credit on the film. The word is out on the guy, and it may be too late for Universal to take his name off the trailer. Will you go see it out of a morbid curiosity? Perhaps offices can get a pool going and Vegas can take action on the outcome and just play it in their sportsbooks on opening day next to the sixth from Pimlico.
It is a shame that Shyamalan is involved at all. Quarantine was no better or worse than [Rec], but horror fans may have seen some potential in this (another) extended Twilight Zone episode. The filmmaker once ridiculously dubbed the next Spielberg now instantly taints anything he comes in contact with as reactions to the Devil trailer show. All bets are off once the lights go down though, and I'll be hoping that the Dowdles can take Night's premise and twist it in their own way. But if we buy a ticket and find out that hoodie man really just plays hockey for New Jersey it will be time to hire Dom Cobb to implant the idea in Night's head that he really does think like that reporter from the Airbender Q&A. If it is all possible, of course, to commit inception in the Devil that is.