My interest in The Devil Inside was non existent until a free ticket came my way and low and then behold I was the first person to arrive.
PLOT: Isabella Rossi’s (Fernanda Andrade) mother Maria (Suzan Crowley) committed three violent murders and is mysteriously incarcerated in a psychiatric institution inside the walls of the Vatican City. Isabella waits twenty years and then travels to Italy in an attempt to have her mother transferred back to the United States. When Isabella gets there she discovers, with the help of two rogue priests, that her mother has been possessed by not one but four demons. The Priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) attempt to perform an exorcism which has deadly consequences for all involved. END PLOT
The Devil Inside opens with the disclaimer that members of the clergy do not endorse this film or agree with the contents. I was glad this was cleared up because lord knows the Roman Catholic Church gets itself into enough trouble with wayward priests and we wouldn’t want to add any more fuel to that fire.
The script boldly emphasised just how involved the Vatican could be in exorcisms when it is in the notion but then the scriptwriters decided not to pursue the matter any further and rather abruptly ended the film. The Devil Inside ended on a dramatic car crash on route to Father Gallo’s house and the mystery of what Father Gallo would have to say about demonic possession will forever remain unknown.
The Devil Inside is the first time I have ever experienced a mob of angry Belfast people shouting at a cinema screen in disgust at such a shockingly bad ending. If I wasn’t feeling
slightly smug that I didn’t waste my money on a ticket I would have picked up my pitchfork and torch and joined in.
Not only was the script devoid of any originality some of the dialogue, especially from the possessed characters, was so atrocious I think I pulled a neck muscle from cringing so hard.
Aside from some severe overacting by the actresses playing the possessed characters the cast were completely unmemorable.
The Devil Inside was filmed in the documentary/found footage format which is a fad that I normally like but in order to remain consistent the film makers couldn’t even get that right. The hand-held camera was far too shaky - during scenes when all the characters were sitting around a table you would not be mistaken in thinking that they were shooting through an earthquake.
The effects, which involved some impressive moments of contortionism and scarily unconditioned hair, were fine but unremarkable.
The documentary style and the unknown actors means that if The Devil Inside was released ten years ago it may have been considered a game changer. The reality is it is now 2012 and the standards and expectations for low budget horror films are now so high it just emphasises just how bad The Devil Inside is.
It just goes to show that pretty much anyone can knock out one of these films. I am now ready to dust off my families old video camera, grab my friends, some torches with dying batteries and head to the nearest forest to cobble together 80mins of footage. I doubt I will be the next Wes Craven but if it pays for Christmas in New York isn’t that all that matters?
The Devil Inside gets 2.5/10. Avoid.