Published Jan 06, 2012In 1972, famed director William Friedkin shocked audiences everywhere by delivering The Exorcist, one of the most controversial films ever. Forty years later, filmmakers are still trying to duplicate its lasting success with countless cheap imitations and, unsurprisingly, director William Brent Bell's The Devil Inside is yet another blatant failed attempt at replicating the classic possession film.
The Devil Inside flaunts its lack of ingenuity from the first frame, as viewers are witness to a banal crime scene prologue (taking place in 1989) full of the same boo scares and creepy shots frequently employed in both handheld and demonic horror films.
The mockumentary then jumps to the present and the audience is introduced to the beautiful, yet non-emotive, Isabella (Fernanda Andrade), who convinces her filmmaker friend, Mike (Ionut Grama), to embark upon a journey to Rome to document her mission of discovering what (or who) possessed her mother to murder three people during her exorcism in 1989.
After having a creepy and revealing encounter with her mother at a mental ward in Rome, Isabella enlists the help of two practicing rogue exorcists (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) to help her rid the demon(s) living in her mother. What ensues is an infuriating and uninspired mess of a film that will only titillate sell-out horror film reviewers and filmgoers easily frightened by foreseeable boo scares, contortionists and the sight of menstrual blood.
If you have witnessed the overly hyped red band trailer of the film, you've witnessed all the scares The Devil Inside provides and although the possessed victims, Maria and Rosa (played respectively by Suzan Crowley and Bonnie Morgan), give convincingly eerie performances, the few moments of genuine trepidation fail to compensate for the poorly executed script, done-to-death plot and an anti-climatic ending guaranteed to make filmgoers collectively boo the screen. (Paramount)