What do we have here? It's another "found footage" movie. While we've seen quite a few of these now, The Devil Inside is different from the other ones in some ways. They don't use witches, ghosts, aliens or monsters that show up in New York City out of nowhere. This one is about exorcism and demonic possession.
After her mother Maria (Suzan Crowley) confesses to killing three people in 1989, a woman named Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) decides that she wants to know what happened that night. In 2009, she decides to investigate and go to Italy to see her mother who was transferred there several years earlier. While there, Isabella also seeks to learn more about exorcism in hopes of curing her mother of whatever problems she might have. She eventually meets two priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) who have been trained to handle these situations. Once they learn her story, they offer their assistance to Isabella and her cameraman Michael (Ionut Grama). It's then for the first time that Isabella sees true evil up close and personal.
Maybe it's me? Maybe it's the fact that I don't find movies about exorcism scary? I didn't think The Exorcist was scary even though most of the other people I know did. It could be the reason why I didn't like The Devil Inside or it could be the fact that this was a terrible movie? I heard that you should be careful about movies that released ahead of time for critics to review, because those films are usually bad. Now I actually saw a pre-screening, but it was literally less than a couple of hours before its official release. That's not a good sign.
At least there were two good things about this movie. Fernanda Andrade was hot and the extremely small scene with the nun that looks like the actor Chris Cooper was cool. It wasn't scary and I don't think it was supposed to be, but the scene with the nun was the best part of the film and it had absolutely nothing to do with the movie. They're were really no scary parts in this movie and that's never a good thing. They simply used blood and gore in its place and that didn't do anything for me.
The Devil Inside had so many problems and there were so many things that didn't make sense. For example, the two priests that we see through most of the movie invite Isabella and Michael to film an unauthorized exorcism that the church doesn't know about. They know that what they're doing is against the rules, but they are willing to let them film it? To make matters worse, later on those same two priests are hesitant to allow Issy and Mike (I decided to give them nicknames for no reason) to film another unauthorized exorcism, because it's against the rules and it may get them in trouble. How does that make any sense and why would you let them film in the first place?
There are too many holes in the story for me to go over without spoiling the movie for those of you who want to see it. So I'll just leave it at that. Overall, this movie was too predictable and it offered no scares. I can't fault the actors as they tried their best. They were respectable and played their roles well. They just didn't have much to work with.
If you want to watch a great "found footage film" that was recently released, I suggest you watch Paranormal Activity 3 if it's still in theaters or see it on DVD when it hits stores. If you've already seen that and you want to watch something new, then you might have to wait until the release of Paranormal Activity 4, but I don't know when that's coming out.
With all of that being said, something very strange did happen at the screening that I went to. I don't know if it was the movie as a whole or the ending itself, but out of all of the screenings that I've been to, this is the first time that I've seen the audience actually boo at the end of the movie. I guess there's a first time for everything.
William Brent Bell
Film Length: 87 minutes
January 5, 2012 (Limited)
January 6, 2012 (Worldwide)
Distributor: Paramount Pictures