Last weekend my son and I ventured into the local theater to see Devil, the latest horror movie from M. Night Shyamalan. (Here's the trailer.) We did so with some trepidation after Mr. Shyamalan's last few lemons (especially "Lady in the Water,") prompting the affectionate nickname (around our dinner table, anyway) of M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong.
At the risk of spoiling the movie, Devil is the story of five people who board the elevator of a Pittsburgh skyscraper (that's not the scary part) and are visited by the Devil. As our tightly wound passengers go on a little killing spree, the police work to unravel their individual tales. We discover that each of them has committed a sin that probably should earn him or her a visit from the Devil, if not between floors 22 and 23 of a Pittsburgh skyscraper, at least as a sidebar at the Pearly Gates.
The resolution of all this isn't pretty, and I'll spare you the "Thing That Will Try to Bring You Back to Church," but suffice to say the premise is ripe for any number of sequels.
For example, I've decided to work-up the movie treatment to "Devil: The Venture Capitalist." My story is about a poor VC who boards an elevator in a busy American city with four entrepreneurs. As they ascend, the first entrepreneur says, "If my stupid customers could understand my brilliant product we'd start to grow." The second one sighs and says, "All we need to do is 'cross the chasm' and we'll be on our way." The third one adds, "We're going to be successful because we really don't have any competition." And the last one chimes in, "We're struggling a little, but Google is going to have to buy us."
Mind you, the Devil hasn't even reached this elevator yet.
Or how about, "Devil: The Dad." A father gets on the elevator with his four children. The oldest one says, "Good news, Dad, you won't have to come up with a tuition payment for second semester." His younger sister says, "Remember you and Mom always told us we could tell you anything?" Before she can continue, her younger sister says, "So maybe this would be a good time to show you my tattoo?" The hapless Dad looks at his youngest, who just smiles.
No Devil yet here, either.
You're apt to like the new Shyamalan (we did), but not as much as you'll enjoy the sequels.