When I was a child my mother would tell me a story about how the Devil roams the earth. Sometimes, she said, he would take human form so he could punish the damned on earth before claiming their souls. The ones he chose he gathered together and tortured as he hid among them, pretending to be one of them. I always believed my mother was telling me an old wives’ tale.
My mother’s story always begin the same, with a suicide paving the way for the Devil’s arrival and it would always end with the death of all those trapped.
In her stories, innocent people would always die, poor souls just trying to help out who didn’t realize who they were dealing with. He doesn’t take kindly to those who stand in his way.
When the Devil is near everything goes wrong, toast falls jelly side down, children hit tables and people get hurt. Where I come from, when he takes human form and torments the damned on earth before stealing them away, we call it The Devil’s Meeting.
In the story, men would always try to battle him with force but some battles can’t be fought with weapons. He never does this in secret and always kills the last victim in front of the one they love most to make cynics of us all.
The only way to save them, is to make the people see themselves as who they really are. It is the lies we tell ourselves that introduce us to the Devil. They must take responsibility for who and what they’ve become or perish.
After my mother would finish her story she would always comfort us. “Don’t worry” she’d tell us “if the devil is real than god must be real too.”
This story by M Night Shyamalan has become my muse – inspiring me to write even though I have overdosed on writing this month. I guess we have to take advantage of our inspiration no matter where it comes from – this story comes from the movie “The Devil” which I have from Netflix. The first time I saw the movie, I hated it. However, subsequent viewings gave me a deeper appreciation of the story. I do recommend it but warn you may need to watch it twice to get a full understanding of it.
The story is about five people who get on an elevator on an innocuous day going about the routines of their lives. It is an express elevator which means it only stops on selected floors, not every one. As soon as the elevator gets stuck, strange things begin to happen to the people. Lights go out and when they come back up someone is hurt or dead. A police detective is brought in to try to figure it all out.
Also involved is the security team of the building who can monitor the video camera system. One of these men is Ramirez, the man telling the above story. The detective goes through all the logical steps to solve the puzzle, resisting the idea that the whole thing is beyond his control. He finally has to admit something isn’t right in the elevator – something more sinister is at work.
Until the end, the detective and Ramirez don’t realize the part they play in the whole scenario.
I can’t explain the story – people need to watch it. It is quite possible it won’t hit others as it did me but I do recommend it (yes, I know it is an M Night Shyamalan which turns some people off from the beginning). I’m still piecing together the story I want to write – it won’t do the original story/movie justice but since I’m not a published writer, who is going to care but me?