From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan… That’s the sentence being used to promote Devil, which opens Friday. It’s the first movie to be released under Shyamalan’s ‘The Night Chronicles’ production shingle, and if it’s anything like his recent cinema offerings, chances are it will be the last episode of the Chronicles.
Now, Shyamalan didn’t write it or direct Devil, so there’s a glimmer of hope it won’t totally blow. However, he did concoct the story and his association with the flick has to be considered a big honking unlucky charm. For those unaware, the movie is a horror/thriller about five people trapped in an elevator — one of whom is Satan. It sounds similar to most of Night’s other plots, in that it’s lacking in substance and complexity.
Devil wasn’t the first idea pitched by Shyamalan. Turns out he attempted to sell a few others before deciding on his hell in an elevator frightmare. Our industrious showbiz insider did some digging and managed to get his grubby mitts on seven of these rejected stories. Let’s take a peek into the mind of M. Night Shyamalan, shall we.
Synopsis: Five animal rights activists trapped inside a dog pound realize one of the pooches is the Devil.
Tagline: It’s a dog-eat-human world.
Why it was rejected: Too much like Cujo.
Synopsis: Five rambunctious teenagers trapped inside a meat freezer realize one of the cow carcasses is the Devil.
Tagline: Meat your maker.
Why it was rejected: Everyone thought Shyamalan was joking. (Psst, he wasn’t.)
Synopsis: Five construction workers trapped in a tool shed realize one of the hammers is the Devil.
Tagline: Don’t be a tool.
Why it was rejected: Couldn’t agree on the type of hammer. Some wanted claw, others favored a sledge.
Synopsis: Five midgets trapped inside a porta potty realize one of the turds is the Devil.
Tagline: Bad things come in small packages.
Why it was rejected: Too controversial.
Synopsis: Five homeless people trapped inside a dumpster realize one of the bags of trash is the Devil.
Tagline: No diving allowed.
Why it was rejected: There was a lighting issue.
Synopsis: Five farmers trapped in a root cellar realize one of the turnips is the Devil.
Tagline: The root of all evil.
Why it was rejected: Not scary enough.
Synopsis: Five women trapped inside a sauna realize one of the towels is the Devil.
Tagline: It’ll make you sweat.
Why it was rejected: Too porny.
When all was said and done, Night elected to make one of the characters the Devil. That was probably the way to go, although Porta sounds very intriguing. Wink, wink.