I ain’t gonna lie.
I love demon possession movies. I think they’re generally scarier than hack and slash type of horror movies and I don’t know, feel more real to me. That being said, The Devil Inside is the latest movie to use the found footage device to illustrate their story. Initially seduced by a trailer involving a possessed mother, I thought this might be a little different than the others. It looks genuinely creepy, promised a chilling tale, and had a very creepy actress playing the mother, Maria Rossi. What did I think when I came out of the movie theater? Hit the jump and I’ll tell you. *Spoiler Warning*
I went to a free screening, courtesy of BigFanboy.com, and sat eagerly in my chair in the super full theater. The story began much like the way it’s described in the trailer. You get a couple of disclaimers about the Vatican not being involved in anything in the movie (AWW) and then the 911 call that took place in October 1989. Maria Rossi murdered 2 priests and a nun during an exorcism done on her without the sanction of the Church. You don’t know for a while that she had an exorcism done on her (they explain it as a church meeting) but holy fuck, they must think the viewers are retarded. Hmmm, a chair with broken arms and belts? That’s not usually at a church meeting but maybe they do things differently here? Anyway, it jumps to the present (well, November 2009) where the pretty, late 20s daughter of Maria, Isabella, is talking to the camera about her mother. Isabella is going to Rome where her mother had been transferred after the events of 1989. The Church has her there for special observation but refuses to acknowledge old girl has a demon inside her. Isabella opts to attend an exorcist school in Rome and meets up with two priests/ordained exorcists, Ben and David and discusses her case with them.
I will point out here that I loved the idea of the whole religion meeting science to battle demons but unfortunately this was not fleshed out and was merely a footnote to the whole movie until they dropped blatant hints as their way of foreshadowing.
Isabella visits the hospital to see her mother who doesn’t recognize her but repeats “Connect the cuts” over and over while showing her self mutilation in the form of inverted crosses. Dr. Costa informs Isabella that Maria has an aversion to holy and religion items (HELLO, she’s possessed, duh) and Maria berates Isabella for something she couldn’t have known. The visibly shaken Isabella leaves and breaks down in tears. She meets up with Ben and David several times and they invite her along to an exorcism they’re performing on a girl the Church has denied for an exorcism. These two padres have “gone rogue” and seem to eschew the stricter guidelines in the church in their vigilante exorcisms. Recipe for trouble? I thought so. The use of a contortionist gives these exorcism scenes a wonderful touch but again, so much is predictable that it takes the fear right out of it. After experiencing this, Isabella implored David and Ben to perform one on her mother since the Church refuses to reopen Maria’s case. With many misgivings and not much of a fight, they agree. They routinely examine Maria and dismiss the beeping anomaly on the heart machine and all over camera blackout during the violent and demonic outburst from Maria. Everyone escapes unharmed and the footage is analyzed with David remarking that he can hear four different voices speaking. Ben is the first to start showing severe signs of possession with everyone else just coming across as bitchy and he ends up committing suicide (I will say that Simon Quarterman does WONDERFULLY as Ben). Isabella is next and she faints at Ben’s death. She is taken to a hospital where she kills a nurse and after she’s sedated so the staff can attend the dying nurse, David and the director have the GREAT IDEA to transport her out of the hospital because she’s dangerous. I’d have left the bitch there with all her demons. She causes the car to crash and roll credits. I wish I could lie and say this movie was good. I wish I could lie and say I was oh, so scared during it. Do not watch this movie. It’s utter crap.
I counted six cheap scares and no serious ones that made me feel afraid. Fuck this movie, man. When is there gonna be an amazingly scary demon possession movie? I want to pee my pants in fear and sorry, The Devil Inside does not deliver that.