First film of the new year and it’s already earned itself a spot on one of the year end lists.
At once spooky and grisly, this film follows a woman’s quest to find the truth behind claims that her mother killed three people during an exorcism. The daughter’s journey takes her to Italy, where she becomes involved in other exorcisms.
With all of the “found-footage” flicks that I have been watching as of late, I always wonder if it really is a dead genre. Flicks like ‘The Last Exorcism’, ‘Quarantine’, and ‘Apollo 18’ all made it seem so and I can say that this one should definitely be added to that list.
Director William Brent Bell and co-writer Matthew Peterman don’t really bring much here to this tired genre other than just a bunch of back story that they try to use to cover up the fact that this is still a horror film with annoying jump-scares. The film’s story starts off by telling us about this girl named Isabella, who wants to know what happened to her mother but everything she wants to know is basically explained within the first 10 minutes. She’s a crazy beotch, that killed three people in her house during an exorcism on her, and she is now in the loony-bin. I could understand if this chick wanted to know the truth, but after awhile it seems like she’s trying to connect with her mother even though this chick is obviously possessed. We never ever really get lost in her character’s emotions because there seems to be no internal struggle for her in the first place and even when there does seem to be one, she just constantly whines and cries about it to the point of where I wanted the devil to be inside of her just to make her at least interesting in any way.
The only time the film actually seems like it’s going for something interesting with it’s characters and story, it totally gets rid of that whole idea. The two priests here actually seem like they had a lot more to offer this story than Isabella did and they provide a lot of smart commentary on how the Vatican’s questionable system but they over-due it way too much to the point of where it seems like this is some sort of sly commentary the film is trying to give us.
These guys also make it seem like they are professionals in every which way and have seen it all but even when the demons bring up their names, or say that they did something in the past, they shriek and act all confused about what the demon just said. I’m tired of this whole element in films that have demons in them because everybody knows that the Devil is just like God in the way that he is always there watching us no matter what sort of deeds we do. If a Devil says that they know I ordered a bunch of hookers and had a sex, drugs, and GTA party, then I won’t be like, “how diddd youuu knowww??!?!”, I’m just going to tell it to shut the hell up and continue on with my exorcism.
One of the dumbest things about this flick is that the only time I actually shook during this whole flick was when they used a dog as a scare device. You heard that right people. A dog pops out of nowhere and probably supplied the biggest scare for me in this whole flick, but I’m happy to say that at least it wasn’t a damn cat this time. As for all of the other scares in this flick, there’s no subtlety one bit and everything here that’s supposed to be scary and shocking is all something we have seen done time and time before. The whole bleeding from the vagina thing, the whole cursing thing, and everything else that comes with an exorcism film is used here but never freaks you out once considering it’s been used before except in a hand-held camera way. Oooooooooh spooooky.
The performances here are pretty shitty to considering that everybody seems to be characters in a film. It also seems like director wanted everybody here to ad-lib in order to get this real feel but instead it all feels very weak as if these people constantly couldn’t think of anything bright to come off the top of their heads so they just repeated the one thing that they said before. It’s pretty much really bad improv the whole way through especially when they start to act all scared. The only good performance I think in this whole film was Suzan Crowley, and it’s not even her performance as if it’s more just her crazy eyes that kind of freaked me out just looking at her.
Finally though, the one thing about this flick that has everybody talking is definitely the main reason why this film blows: it’s ending. The problem with the ending is that the film started to seem like it was going someplace where it’s never really been taken before but nothing ever happens and the film-makers just pull out the cord. The screen goes black and then there is this little pre-credits title that pops up telling us to go to this website for more information. WHY!?!?? We know that all of this shit is not real, so why in the hell would we want to do the work ourselves and go and look up something that isn’t real in the first place?!? The seemed like a real big slap-in-the-face to the audience and rather than just seeming ambiguous just for the sake of the idea of making this a series (which I hope to never see) it just seems flat-out lazy. However, I don’t give a shit if they never finish this story and the case never gets solved so don’t even bother giving me a web-site, cause I’m not going to check it out anyway. Besides it will probably be gone in about a month once they realize nobody is actually checking it out.
Consensus: The Devil Inside is just another lame, unscary, and totally unoriginal found-footage flick that is pretty terrible the whole way through until the end, and then it’s pretty obvious that it’s just shit.