The Devil Inside William Brent Bell

The Devil Inside William Brent Bell
It's not every day you can judge a movie by its DVD cover, but The Devil Inside is special in this regard. The cover depicts a scary, blind nun staring directly into the camera. It's a befuddling image, considering we only meet this character in passing during a brief montage sequence, and an unconventional detail for a very unconventionally conventional film. The Devil Inside follows the lead of recent horror flicks like Paranormal Activity and Quarantine, abiding by a very conventional structure. We get a teaser of the monster, are introduced to the characters, a not-so-subtle clue is dropped, which, if recognized, spoils the ending, and then, finally, after some twists and turns ― maybe someone gets naked ― the monster is revealed. Oh yeah, and everything is shot documentary style, as if the movie had actually happened. The Devil Inside opens with police footage of a murder in 1989. Maria Rossi kills some clergy members during an exorcism, which we learn of via stylized '80s news clips. Twenty years later, Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade), Maria's daughter, journeys to Rome to reconnect with her mother and uncover "the truth" about why she was sent to a mental hospital in Italy, and not in America, Along the way, Isabella attends exorcism school, meets some priests, tries to perform an exorcism on her mother and, of course, everything goes terribly awry. But, hell, we already knew that because of a spoiler at the beginning of act two ― one word: transference. It's all very conventional yet unconventional at the same time, except there are a few things missing. First off, we never grow to care about any of the characters, so when they die it means nothing. Second, the so-called twists and turns in the second act are missing and very little of the film actually makes sense. We never uncover why Maria Rossi was sent to Rome in the first place and the Vatican has no apparent interest in her. This film is just a shallow exercise in style-over-substance, in which a neophyte director gets to exorcise all of the demons they told him to steer clear of at film school. No extras are included. (Paramount)