The people behind The Devil Inside would have you believe that the Catholic Church doesn’t want you to see this movie because of its exorcism content. This is total nonsense and if anyone from the Vatican has actually watched this they’re doing you a favour, it’s atrociously bad.
Where to start. Well firstly the format is pretty tired and redundant, shaky camera action, faux documentary, found footage elements are all here. The Blair Witch was 13 years ago, can we move on and try and find something new? If the film is a documentary of found footage, why the hell is there music playing over it ? This was a massive problem with The Last Exorcism another mockumentry (shudder) that didn’t hold the course and wigged out for the last twenty minutes. No explanation is given to the finding of the footage and the film doesn’t really want to convey that this may be real in some way, obviously realising how pointless and unbelievable the format has become.
The incredibly short – about an hour and ten minutes – boring and unscary story follows Isabella Rossi as she tries to find out why her Mum is in a loony bin in Rome. Turns out that she killed two priests and a nun when an exorcism was being carried out on her. This is all explained in about the first three minutes through a series of recorded phone calls and police video footage which actually look pretty decent, meaning I initially thought it might not be as bad as people were making out. Isabella then heads off in search of her mother and tries to get to the bottom of whatever it is those sneaky Catholics are up to. Michael (Ionut Grama) is the documentarian who wants to capture a real exorcism and shakily follows Isabella around going “that was great” and other Director 101 phrases.
The two priests she enlists to help her are about 14 years old and B.A. Baracus was obviously Fr. David’s (Evan Helmut) role-model growing up as he is never without his gold chain. The fact that these two clowns would ever be let near an exorcism is laughable and just adds to the absurdity of the film. A special mention to Simon Quarterman who plays Fr. Ben with undoubtedly the worst acting I’ve seen in years. His attempts at surprise and anger are painfully embarrassing as he gives no weight to anything he says, instead he merely squeaks and squeals his ways through scenes.
The plot is predictable and lazy, there isn’t one shocking moment and the whole thing plods along until the stupid ending where they realised if they were to continue the film it’d be about 3 hours long and merely rehashing the same nonsense they’d already shot.
The film is also trying to address in a very simplistic and blindingly obvious way the recent Catholic Church sex scandals and how these were all covered up and denied just like exorcisms are. To throw in off-the-cuff remarks in reference to such a huge emotional delicate subject is insulting and a cheap attempt to give the film some meaning.
Terrible acting, directing, story and climax, don’t waste your time watching this excuse for a horror movie. Do yourself a favour and go and watch The Exorcist and see how it should be done, the power of Christ compels you.
USA / Directed By: William Brent Bell / Written By: William Brent Bell, Matthew Peterman / Starring: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth / 83mins / Horror / Release: 16 March 2012 (UK/Irl), 6 January 2012 (US/Canada)