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The Devil Inside (2012)

  Tags: Bonnie Morgan, D.T. Carney, Evan Helmuth, exorcism, exorcists, Fernanda Andrade, Ionut Grama, mockumentary, POS, POS movie, Preston James Hillier, Simon Quarterman, Suzan Crowley, The Devil Inside, William Brent Bell

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William Brent Bell
83 minutes
Bonnie Morgan, Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Preston James Hillier, Evan Helmuth, Suzan Crowley, D.T. Carney, Ionut Grama

If you weren’t one of the millions of Americans who had the displeasure of sitting through “The Devil Inside” this past week, you’ve most likely heard the intense backlash that’s been associated with it. A lot of times, when a movie garners this much hatred, it’s the result of people just jumping on the bandwagon. But in special cases, such as this one, the infuriation is well deserved.

Told in the seemingly never ending “found footage” gimmick that has taken over our beloved genre the past few years, “The Devil Inside” is nothing more than scenes sloppily cut together featuring a young woman trying to prove that her mother is not criminally insane, but demonically possessed. But instead of focusing on the mother aspect of the story (which is never fully resolved), the movie chooses to jump around between different side plots in an attempt to leave no exorcism movie cliché unturned.

Like most of the audience in the near packed theater, I was foolishly tricked into seeing this waste of 80 minutes by EXTREMELY well cut TV spots and trailers. Unfortunately, any of the few tense or “scary” moments in the movie were shown in said advertisement, leaving nothing for the audience than weakly acted, implausible events.  Our main character enlists the help of two rogue exorcists who constantly defy the church’s orders to do what they believe. After scene after scene of the priests saying how their careers will be over if anyone ever found out what they’re doing, I really had to ask myself, “then why the hell are you letting a guy with a camera capture everything you do?” Just saying.

Like most found footage movies, everything that’s “important” is conveniently caught on camera. But this film brings new meaning to the word “laziness” when it comes to explaining why the cameraman is still rolling. There’s a scene during a baptism that has zero to do with any of the events involving the exorcisms, so to explain why it’s being recorded, the cameraman simply says “oh hey, remember you said you’d let me tape that baptism today?” That’s it.

Though it starts off as a slow burn of a movie, it abruptly switches to a barrage of insanity involving exorcism after exorcism. And while nothing original at all was involved in these scenes, the movie started to move at a good pace. I accepted the movie for what it was, and I would even say I was legitimately entertained by the last fifteen minutes’ absurdity as the demon jumped from person to person like HPV in a college dorm.

Just when you thought the movie was about to veer into a third act of mindless, stupid badassery, the movie just ends. Yup, spoilers be damned, the piece of shit just fucking ends. Even worse, it ends with a website popping up on the screen that the audience is encouraged to go to find out what happened during this “case”. People go to movies like this to be entertained for a couple hours, NOT to be given homework. The ONLY redeeming part of this “movie” (and I use that word with a grain of salt) is that Suzan Crowley’s performance as the possessed mother was standout intense and, dare I say, captivating.  If only she was actually given something that resembled significant screen time.

“The Devil Inside” is a lazy, uncreative cash-in on the popular “found footage” gimmick. The plot (and most of the performances for that matter) is all over the place, when it should have just picked one story and stuck with it. Never before has an ending given such a big “we already got your money, so fuck you” to an audience before.

Posted on January 17, 2012 - 2:15am | Johnny D