The Devil Inside is a wicked-bad combination of two things that Hollywood needs to stop using immediately – shaky-cam “found footage” movies without proper endings, and typical run-of-the-mill exorcism movies. Aside from a literal few titles that fall under each category, those are two styles that never deliver anything worthwhile. In the case of The Devil Inside, it’s a hideously boring waste of film.
The movie opens with text claiming that what we’re about to see is real and that the case still has not been solved (meaning there’s no ending to the movie), followed by a 1989 911 call of a crazy woman admitting to killing three people. Next we’re shown gruesome VHS footage of police walking through the murder scene, describing the gore in detail as we walk from room to room. Then it jumps to 2009 and introduces us to the murderer’s now 29-year-old daughter Isabella as she tries to piece together exactly what happened.
During the investigation, it became evident that the victims were Catholic priests conducting an unsanctioned exorcism on the soon-to-be killer. Found “not guilty” because of her insanity, she was locked up in a mental institution, but before long the Catholic church had her transferred to an asylum of their own in Rome. Isabella wants to find out why they were performing an exorcism, why the church had her moved to Rome and why her mother killed those priests – and she plans to find her answers with her filmmaker friend documenting the who experience.
The first thing Isabella does in Rome is visit “exorcism school.” There, she meets a group of intellectual priests and has a long, boring and uneventful philosophical conversation. The next day she and Cameraman Mike go to see Mommy, who in return freaks them out by reading Isabella’s mind. Believing that she just might be possessed, they take their footage to two of the Priests from exorcism school for confirmation. When said priests just-so-happen-to-be rogue exorcists – like the ones that Mommy slaughtered 20 years earlier – the group gets wrapped up in a plot that you know isn’t going to turn out well. Of course, just when you think that things might be getting good – which they haven’t been the entire time – the movie cuts to black.
If you’re thinking, ‘This movie sounds decent. Luke is just a pessimistic film critic. I’ll like it anyway,’ know that you’re wrong. I haven’t been in a screening that made the general audience groan this much since Vantage Point. The crowd simultaniously broke out into booing the second it cut to black. They seemed just as urked as the “pessimistic” press. If you doubt me, go see it for yourself and tell me that I’m wrong. I’m certain that there won’t be any contradictory comments left here. It’s not often that I make bold comments such as these, but I know a truly awful movie when I see one.
Photo credit: Paramount