Synopsis: In Italy, a woman becomes involved in a series of unauthorized exorcisms during her mission to discover what happened to her mother, who allegedly murdered three people during her own exorcism.
Stars: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth
Director: William Brent Bell
Running Length: 89 minutes
Random Crew Highlight: Flame Artist/Colorist – Tegan Arnold
TMMM Score: (5/10)
Review: Oh those pesky demons…they can’t stay out of trouble (and other people’s bodies). At this point it’s mostly “Another year, another demonic possession movie…” All the way back to The Exorcist we’ve been treated to films with more than their fair share of the pea soup spewing, contorting, and cursing possessed with varying results. While certainly no masterpiece or even a particularly memorable entry into the genre, The Devil Inside at least starts off well. Once you get to the people, you know, talking it just begins to wither and die.
The whole “found footage” idea is so played out and for a while the movie presents itself closer in style to a researched and released documentary than to just a compilation of cuts from a VHS tape. Somewhere about 40 minutes in it seems as though that idea was jettisoned in favor of a Blair Witch Project-esque testimonial before breaking down into Paranormal Activity territory. Actors who first came across as semi-natural now have morphed into more narrative roles, which shows weakness in the script and direction. Your characters should never have to explain themselves in situations like these because there is no logic behind it.
I guess it’s moot to speak to logic because a film like this rarely has any. I can’t believe that cameras would be given the kind of access granted here, no self-respecting doctor would allow that to happen to a patient under their care no matter how much money was being thrown at them. Would the film have used more hidden camera techniques it could have upped the “fear of the unknown” factor than having multiple cameras covering the events.
Along with sequence at a baptism that can only be described as supremely distasteful, the film puts away the pea-soup and hauls out the blood and gore. I don’t recall The Exorcist showing much, if any, blood but you’ll get your fair dose here. Acting wise there are some committed turns by some of the characters in need of a good old fashioned exorcism – though those double-jointed people out there have now been officially one-upped.
I’ve seen worse demonic possession movies and I can’t say I totally didn’t like this – it does have some effective moments. The biggest surprise is the film treats it central supposed savior (the Catholic church itself ) as the biggest villain of them all. In messages before and after it is stated that the Vatican did not aid/assist in the making of the movie. I wasn’t aware that the Vatican was in the motion picture business…but now that I know I’ll be looking forward to Pope Goes to Poland in the near future.