The Devil Inside (2012)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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Overall Rating 42%
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Ranked #2,024
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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. --TMDb
Fernanda Andrade
Fernanda Andrade
Simon Quarterman
Simon Quarterman
Evan Helmuth
Evan Helmuth
Ionut Grama
Ionut Grama
Suzan Crowley
Suzan Crowley
Review by Crispy
Added: June 05, 2012
From the very first trailer I saw of The Devil Inside, I was hooked. The film became a personal must-see, but as friends of mine caught it in theaters and came back with negative reports, that enthusiasm waned, and I missed its theatrical run. Still, as soon as it hit DVD I chucked it on my Netflix queue. I can definitely see why nobody had too many good things to say about it.

Back in 1989, Maria Rossi snapped and killed three people before confessing in a 911 call. Twenty years later, her daughter, Isabella, has learned that the murders took place during an attempted exorcism on her mother, and wants to delve deeper into the matter. She finds that the best way to do this is to include her mother in a documentary about exorcism, so she sets out for Rome with cameraman, Michael. She reconnects with her mother for the first time in two decades in her asylum room, and is completely distraught at mommy's deranged behavior, and her referencing Isabella's abortion a few years prior, something she could never have known about. Realizing she's out of her league, she acquires the help of two priests, Ben and David, both extremely experienced in the matter of demonic possession.

For the most part, The Devil Inside's scares were coming courtesy of really creepy behavior on the part of its possession victims. Self-cutting, impossible contortions, and angry yelling in ever-changing languages, and while nothing new, it was at least effective. Still, I can't help but feel that the exorcisms, especially Maria's, should have been the focal point. The trailer made such a huge deal of this part of the film, especially focusing on the fact that she appears to be possessed by a multitude of demons. All of this is merely a passing scene however, and the real focus is something of a character study into Ben's work, Isabella's motivation, with a minor subplot involving everyone getting pissed at Mike. Certainly not what anybody wanted to see, nor was it a suitable replacement.

Even though we weren't exactly firing on all cylinders, things were rolling along decently enough. It was far from stellar, but at least we were moving. And then we come to the grand finale, and the whole affair turns from "meh" to "shit." After building scares on mood and creepiness, our filmmakers suddenly flew completely off the handle, and while I don't want to spoil much, let me just say that our filmmakers certainly need to learn the value of "less is more."

Despite the movie's weaknesses, we've actually got some decently strong acting here. Fernanda Andrada in particular showed that she should be able to pull in some decent roles in the upcoming years. Likewise, Ionut Groma's frustration toward film's end was also convincing, as was Simon Quarterman. Evan Helmuth wasn't quite in the same league, but Suzan Crowley and Bonnie Morgan more than made up for it in their creepy-ass throes of demonic possession.

It's a shame how many filmmakers skipped their Endings 101 class over at Movie College. Of course, this one was in rough shape before it even got that far, and that's before we take into account that cinema verite approach that I've never been a fan of. 3/10.
Sadie #1: Sadie - added 06/10/2012, 07:24 PM
I’m right there with you, I was hooked from the first trailer and ignored the reports the negative feedback. I saw this film during my last business trip for Dish and I loved it. I was wigged out and that is what I like in my horror. The acting was awesome and the ending was particularly perfect for the film. I’ve always loved horror and I became particularly fond of scaring myself as a child. It scared away the demons that were already piling up in my closet. I’m building a blog site where I can let my thoughts loose about films, but with my frequent traveling I decided to subscribe to Dish Online, where it’s easy to find a movie that fits my mood. There is too much time lost in airports and hotels; I would prefer to use that time watching and writing about a movie that has just blown my mind.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 06/12/2012, 01:11 AM
The ending was "particularly perfect" for your average Syfy movie.
Cryptorchild #3: Cryptorchild - added 02/21/2013, 08:12 PM
I guess I'm in the minority here as I really enjoyed it and I thought it was cool the film went the "documentary" route which usually bugs me but I thought they pulled it off alright. It creeped me the fuck out and that's sort of hard to do. All in all, it may not be the best movie ever but I really dug it. 8/10 for me.
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