Monday, 14 May 2012
The Devil Inside (2012): Review
The Devil Inside is a 2011 found-footage religious horror film. Directed by William Brent Bell (Stay Alive) starring Fernanda Andrade and Suzan Crowley the film was shot on a small budget in Romania, Italy and the Vatican City.
The Devil inside follows the supposed demonic possession of Maria Rossi (Crowley) and her daughter Isabella's (Andrade) investigation to uncover the meaning behind her multiple murders and subsequent confinement to an Italian asylum. Once in Italy she discovers the exorcist academy and meets 2 local priests who agree to show her an exorcism to greater determine whether her mother is indeed possessed. The film culminates with Maria having an exorcism performed on her however the ritual has a seriously adverse effect on those present as the witnesses begin to show signs of possession themselves.
The Devil Inside has been the target of much criticism and scorn from critics and audiences alike, however I feel a lot of this negativity is based on people being influenced by other opinions and reacting badly to the ending in particular. I won't try to argue that The Devil Inside is a poor film, it is, but not spectacularly so and it's important to get to the root of why people have been so deeply offended by this film. Firstly it is really quite silly, the lecture sequences in the exorcist academy in particular, and the cast overact so much that it is difficult to take this seriously as a horror film or certainly a found footage film. That's not to say there aren't genuine creepy and scary moments but they were all in the trailer and are all undermined by idiotic dialogue delivered by very poor actors.
The main thing that has offended people seems to be the ending. I won't give away too much even though many other people have, but the general message is that the investigation into Maria Rossi was never resolved. Not only does this void the entire plot and build-up to the final sequence but the way in which it is delivered is so insulting to movie fans that it was booed by several audiences, and rightfully so. The bare minimum that one expects from a film that portrays itself as an investigation or "mockumentary" is that the main issues are resolved, this is lazy, arrogant film making and has earned the film it's reputation despite some very effective sequences in other places.
If you're a die-hard found footage fan (which I am) or a die-hard religious horror fan (which I'm not) you may find some of the scares effective and the plot somewhat interesting however, for the most part I found it to be a clichéd, boring and predictable mess. This might have cut it in the early days of the found footage craze but in 2012 audiences expect a lot more than the same old cheap tricks and an idiotic conclusion.
2 Stars **
What did you think of the movie? Does it deserve it's criticism?