My Thoughts on “The Night Chronicles”

4 Sep

If you have been to a movie since “Predators” this summer, you have no doubt seen the previews for the film “Devil”, a horror film about five people stuck on an elevator and one of them is the Devil. The previews are intriguing and the film received honorable mention on my list of top five movies that I am looking forward to this Fall. However, it also received several groans from movie-goers as soon as the words, “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” popped up in the previews.

Shyamalan’s popularity has dwindled after a series of critical duds at the Box Office, culminating in this year’s “The Last Airbender”, which received 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. I also kind of joined in and wrote an article earlier this summer called, “Why I think M. Night Shyamalan is Failing”.

“Devil”, however, is not necessarily a Shyamalan film. It comes from his idea for a story and the screenplay was adapted by an aspiring screenwriter, Brian Nelson, and then the film is subsequently brought to the big screen by aspiring directors, the Dowdle Brothers. “Devil” is the first part in a series that Shyamalan is dubbing, “The Night Chronicles”, which are ideas for films that he has come up with and then is placing in the hands of new screenwriters and directors to give them a chance to bring their fresh take on cinema to life under his tutelage (and also with the vast amounts of money he has accrued).

I think this is the right step for Shyamalan because it is exactly in line with where I thought he needed to go with his career after “The Last Airbender”. His ideas are good, but my personal opinion is that he is rushing them to the screen and not making them complete and they seem flat and lifeless.

One of the films in “The Night Chronicles”, according to an MTV interview with Shyamalan, will be based on his idea for “Unbreakable 2″. To me, “Unbreakable”, was Shyamalan’s most personal work and, in terms of building a story with three-dimensional characters, his best. I would be excited to see those characters developed a little bit more because he seemed to spend three-quarters of the movie giving them their background stories and then teased the audience with the last quarter of the movie about how great these characters were and how interesting of a story they created. Though, I am glad that he is handing over the reins to someone else for this project though because, based on his recent projects, I don’t think he would offer the audience anything new or innovative.

I think Shyamalan should take this time that he is training the next generation of Hollywood to also take some time to fully develop his next directorial release for 2015 (roughly). Perhaps, he can learn something from these new directors as well and come back with fresh ideas and a way to hone back in on the genius of his first projects.

What are your thoughts about Shyamalan and the Night Chronicles?

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