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.
**WARNING THIS SECTION OF THE REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR 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