The Devil Inside questions my faith in horror movies. I am going to give a particular shout out to William Brent Bell, the director, who clearly thought this movie could get by with cheap tricks. I love The Blair Witch Project, but never did I think that it would cause so many crappy movies that try to utilize first person camera angles. Usually people complain about the shakiness of the camera or the lack of connection they have with people on screen that are technically inside another screen. With this particular movie, I was too engulfed in how awful the actors and environment was.
The movie begins with news footage of a triple homicide involving Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley). Twenty years later, Maria’s daughter is beginning a documentary about her mother and the circumstances surrounding the crime she committed. Apparently, Maria murdered three members of the clergy during an exorcism. The Vatican became involved and had Maria transferred to a mental health clinic in Rome. So after twenty years of not seeing her mother, Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) decides she is going to film her reunion with her mother and her attempt to have her reevaluated by the church. Along her road of discovery she comes across two priests, Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth). Ben and David perform exorcisms off the books because they believe the Vatican is too strict on who qualifies for an exorcism. Once Isabella witnesses a successful exorcism completed by Ben and David, she decides to let them help her mother. That turns out to not be the best idea. I will not give away the ending, but lets just say that demonic possession is apparently contagious.
This is usually the part of the review where I comment on what is bad about the movie, but I consider myself a humanist and therefore a positive individual. So let's focus on what was good about the movie. There was nothing even remotely good about this movie. So let's just go ahead and focus on what was bad. I have already mentioned a clear abuse of the first person camera. Successful uses of this camera tactic revolve around the reality that vision has restrictions. As I am writing this, I can’t see what is on the television to the far right of me. When I was watching this particular movie, I didn’t even think about what was going on off-screen because everything was right in front of me. It was a buffet of classic exorcism ploys. Levitation, multiple languages, and sexuality. The director even paraded different sculptures or creepy little cherubs around Rome right in front of my face. If I go on Google and look up images of Qatar, I am not going to get off Google feeling as if I was in Qatar. I have to have some sort of sensation from the surroundings, not just random images thrown at my face. The acting was maybe one level above B-list, but pretty close. David didn’t do too bad and he was honestly the creepiest character in the movie, but everyone else overacted to the point of humorous. There were a couple times I honestly thought this movie could be a comedic parody of The Exorcist. Were there one or two moments that I found a little bit disturbing? Sure, but that was only because they were grotesque and would make anyone cringe.
Horror island is receiving a demon that has the power to spread his evilness to other individuals. Unfortunately, he is going to an island where everyone is already a buddy with the devil, so how can this particular demon hurt him or her? We constantly hear of the Vatican telling the public that exorcisms are dead and don’t exist anymore. They are right, exorcisms are dead and it’s mostly because of this movie.
If you liked The Devil Inside, you might also like The Possession and The Exorcist.