Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Devil Inside (2012)

In 1989,  Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) brutally murders three people during an exorcism. Maria is hauled off to jail, and she leaves behind her husband and young daughter, Isabella. Maria is declared insane, and she spends the rest of her life in a Catholic insane asylum.

Twenty years later, Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) tries to reconnect with her mother. She also decides to make a documentary about exorcisms and demonic possessions. Michael (a camera man) decides to help, and he manages to catch everything on film. Isabella wants to learn the truth about the viscous murders, that caused her mother’s imprisonment, and she is determined to find the answers to two very important questions: Is her mother just batshit crazy? Or was she under the influence of a demonic possession, when the murders were committed? Along the way, Isabella receives the help of two priests, Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth). Isabella’s journey towards the truth is filled with some very terrifying events, and the quest to save her mother takes a drastic turn for the worst.
My hatred for found-footage films is no secret. I had a positive mindset at first, but The Devil Inside is a terrible film. Yeah, The Devil Inside features some very disturbing and intense moments. The exorcism scenes in this film are pretty violent and shocking, these scenes do feature some vulgar and explicit dialogue, and one particular exorcism (you’ll automatically know what I’m talking about, if you decide to watch this film)  provides plenty of “hard to watch moments,” and I did want to cringe at times. The exorcisms served their purpose. They wanted to make me look away from the screen, and they did bring some “HOLY SHIT THIS IS GROSS!” reactions out of me, but the exorcisms couldn’t save this one.

Overall, The Devil Inside is a boring and dull film most of the time. The constant barrage of confessional/interview scenes drove me absolutely nuts. Yeah, I know. This is supposed to be real footage, so I have to buy into the illusion of a documentary style film here. Still, the scenes that featured the confessionals and the interviews killed the momentum and suspense in this film. I can understand the characters explaining their thoughts and personal feelings towards exorcisms and demonic possessions, and of course, as this film progresses, their thoughts and feelings change, because the presence of evil forces can’t be denied. But the confessionals and the interviews bored me to death, and after a while, I couldn’t stand to watch them. Found-footage fans might enjoy this approach, because it makes everything feel more “realistic“, but the confessionals and the interviews just reeked of overkill, and they did interrupt the pacing of this film.

I was ready to give up on The Devil Inside after a while, but this film did deliver some nice suspense towards the very end. The final moments of this film caught my attention (again), but they ruined everything with this horrific ending.


So we’re in the final moments of the film. David has become possessed, and he can’t fight the demons. He loses his mind, and he decides to take his own life. David kills himself by using a gun to blow his brains out, but some of the demons have found a new home…. Isabella. That’s right. Maria’s daughter has now become possessed, and the evil demons have taken control of her body.

During her possession, Isabella suffers a seizure, and she is rushed to the hospital. Well, this proves to be a bad idea, because during her stay at the hospital, Isabella viscously attacks another patient, she sends the entire staff into a frenzy, and the demons inside her become more powerful. Ben and Michael (Ionut Grama) are the only remaining survivors, and they quickly begin to panic. Ben can only come up with one solution to save Isabella: Perform an exorcism. Isabella is sedated by one of the nurses. Michael and Ben eventually restrain her, they put Isabella inside a car, they rush her to the church, and they must retrieve the necessary tools for an exorcism. Yeah, that’s a smart move. Let’s take a woman, who’s highly dangerous and possessed by demons, and put her in a car, because if she completely snaps again and tries to kill everything in her path, there’ll be no possible chance of an escape.

Anyway, Isabella finally comes around, once she’s inside the car. But there’s one major problem: SHE’S STILL POSSESSED. Isabella tries to strangle Michael (who is the driver by the way), but Ben is able to stop her. Everything calms down for a brief moment, but this emotionless look quickly comes over Michael’s face, and he joins the team of possessed people in this film. Michael is now possessed by demons (at this point in the film, I started to lose track of the number of demons here), Isabella is still throwing one hell of a temper tantrum in the backseat, and Ben struggles to control the hectic situation. Michael is under the control of the evil demons, so he speeds into traffic. He hits another car head on, the dangerous crash is shown on camera, the aftermath of the crash looks serious, and……then the screen cuts to black?

The screen faded to black, and I was instantly pissed off. I was enraged, because this film left me with that enormous “That’s it?!?!?” feeling, but I guess I jumped to a conclusion way too soon, because everything wasn’t over just yet. The screen fades to black, and then a message about the “Rossi cases remaining unsolved” pops up. At this point, I was frustrated beyond belief, but The Devil Inside continued to disappointment me after this message. The unsolved stuff was pure garbage, but they continued to anger the audience with the “go to, if you want learn more about the mystery of the Rossi family” stuff. So I just sat through an entire film, and you want me to finish the story online? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Well, I did invest some time in The Devil Inside, and I did sit through the entire film, so I decided to check out I thought I would find some more informative material, but I was wrong, and The Devil Inside just wasted more of my time. is filled with a shitload of useless information, this site features more fucking confessional videos, and they posted videos of footage that was featured in the actual film! Are you serious? They try to make everything feel more realistic on this website, because they do post links on how to become an exorcist, and this website actually features an exorcism discussion group. Also, they post the account of a priest’s exorcism that was performed on another person.

Yeah, I get what they were trying to do here, and it still didn’t work for me. They were trying to stay true to the footage-found style of filmmaking for this one, and I can understand this approach, but only to a certain extent. They took things too far here, and just brought another facepalm out of me. This website wasn’t informative at all, it didn’t help tie up the lose ends for The Devil Inside, and most of the information posted on this site can be seen in the film, so you really don’t learn anything new. Everything just felt so pointless, and the real news article was laughable. post a clipping of the newspaper article, that features the story of Maria’s murders, and Isabella’s journey to save her mother. Well, this news article could’ve been a nice touch, but this article doesn’t bring any new material to the table. The article just explains a good amount of the information that was featured in the film. I already knew everything the article had to offer, so this piece of “news” just felt like some more useless information.

A while ago, I watched Seven Days In Utopia. This film also pulled the “go to the website to finish the film” technique at the very end. But Seven Days In Utopia DID tie up the lose ends, and they did explain the ending. Yeah, the website was just another way for the author to plug his book, and they actually posted a link to an online store, that sells Seven Days In Utopia merchandise, but still, they did provide some closure, and they did explain the ending.

The producers and filmmakers for The Devil Inside should be ashamed of themselves. Why would I would want to be apart of the ongoing investigation for The Rossi family mystery? For fuck’s sake, I know it’s a fake mystery/murder case. You don’t have to go to such extraordinary lengths to convince me otherwise.

**End spoilers**

The Devil Inside is one of the main reasons why I despise the found-footage era in Hollywood. The exorcism scenes and the solid acting barley pushed this to a one for me, but still, The Devil Inside is a pretty shitty film. The scary stuff in this film is very limited, there aren’t enough spook moments, this one features WAY too many unintentionally funny moments, and this film can be so incredibly dull and boring most of the time. And the final moments of this film brought legit feelings of anger out of me. They did such a great job of providing some real suspense at the very end, and I thought they were building towards a nice cliffhanger, but they ruined everything with an awful ending. The Devil Inside features one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen. It felt like they were building towards something BIG, and I did anticipate a shocking moment at the end, but this ending is very underwhelming. The ending didn’t provide that satisfying payoff I was looking for, and this film just left me with some strong feelings of disappointment. The Devil Inside is a top contender for the worst film in 2012, and I wish I could erase this one from my memory.

Final Rating: 1/10

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