William Brent Bell
Oh goody, another exorcism movie, and even better, it’s found footage.
“The Devil Inside” tells the story of Isabella (Andrade), a young woman who has come to the Italy to see her mother. When Isabella was a young girl her mother Maria (Crowley) killed three people who were trying to perform an exorcism, after the event Maria was taken to a hospital near the Vatican.
Because of the mystery surrounding the event, Isabella has a documentary filmmaker named Ben (Quarterman) go along to capture footage. During their time in Italy, they meet two young priests who do a type of vigilante exorcism service, unfortunately they don’t have a Commissioner Gordan at the Vatican. At any rate, the two priests become interested in Isabella’s story and decide to see if Maria’s possession is real or not.
This movie had an even worse ending than “The Last Exorcism,” the difference though? “The Last Exorcism” was a great movie up until the end, “The Devil Inside” was not. “The Devil Inside” exuberates lazy writing having a story built on a weak foundation of nothing but genre cliches from both exorcism and found footage films.
For most of the film, it plays out almost exactly like any other found footage film that we’ve seen before. There are interviews, personal vlogs and scenes where the lights go out where they are forced to use the light. With all of that going on though, they forgot to add any real depth to the characters or story.
And then there is the ending, which basically has the film just stop. I don’t hate ambiguous or sudden stop endings. I loved “Cloverfield” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene” which both had these types of endings. What worked for them though is that they felt final, it was the end of the story they were telling on film. “The Devil Inside” on the other hand decides to just stop and tells the audience to do more research. To that I say, I’m sorry, but you have to put some effort in to earn an ending like that.
The characters are simply bland. There was nothing memorable or for any matter even likable about these people that we have to follow around. Credit where credit is due, Suzan Crowley did a fairly good job portraying a woman who was possessed. The same can’t be said about the rest of the cast though.
Above all else though, was the movie scary? Well not really. Some creepy moments? Sure, but nothing that will keep one awake through out the night. Many of the things that they try to use for scares are the peoples limbs getting twisted or getting really strong and speaking in languages.
However by this point now, audiences are becoming desensitized to this kind of horror. Exorcism films are basically their own genre now, so seeing a person talk with a devil voice in an exorcism movie is like seeing a killer coming at someone with an axe in a slasher flick, it’s expected and isn’t as scary on the screen. It got to the point of the movie being more laughable than anything actually scary towards the end.
I disliked the end of “The Last Exorcism,” it got a bit to outrageous at the end for me. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film up to that point and applauded it for trying to have a different take and put some new spins on the genre. “The Devil Inside” does nothing new, it’s not scary and is to exorcism movies what “My Soul to Take” was to slasher movies. 0.5 out of 5.