Inner Demons (2014)

Inner DemonsStarring Lara Vosburgh, Morgan McClellan, Colleen McGrann, Christopher Parker

Directed by Seth Grossman

Distributed by IFC Midnight

I think we can all agree that with the current scope of reality TV that has literally covered EVERYTHING under the sun from naked dating to little people who rescue pit bulls, it’s safe to assume that there has been no stone unturned as far as how far these invasive camera crews will go to drag in the ratings. So the idea of a reality-based drug-addiction-mediation show that unknowingly becomes a backdrop for something entirely more sinister than just a chemical dependency issue? Count me in!

The film I’m alluding to is named Inner Demons, and apparently Satan has decided to check into rehab.

Directed by Seth Grossman, who applied his time spent on the Emmy Award-winning hit show “Intervention” to this film, Inner Demons takes that frame of reference and applies it to the story of a teen girl named Carson (Lara Vosbergh), who once was the pride of both her parents and her school. A straight-A student and Bible-quoting daughter of a devout religious family, she has fallen victim to heroin, causing her to alienate friends and family with a hostile attitude and generally creeping the poop out of others with faster-than-a-lightning-strike mood changes.

Mom and Dad’s mental ends are frayed with Carson’s behavior and decide to make the call to a reality TV show dealing in narcotic intercession… cue the shaky-cam. What I’d sincerely hoped and prayed for with this movie in fact did not happen, as we the viewer are now the ones who feel as if we’re on some kind of roller-coaster analeptic with the constant head-whipping, eye-spinning, stomach-churning viewpoint manipulation that you can only get from a found-footage movie. Welcome back, my greatest enemy.

Carson’s dependency isn’t just due to chemical need, but more so a way to keep the demon that has possessed her at bay.  (So, the incubus likes the injectables, huh?)  I’m willing to accept this creative tweak on a somewhat bland storyline, although outside of a memorable performance by Vosbergh, the notion grows old quickly, and we’re left looking for something else to scare us to death. One of the TV crew’s members begins to pick up and sympathize with Carson’s plight, and after she vows to quit the drug completely, the presence inside her takes over in violent and skin-crawling fashion. The up-and-down course of the film begins yet again with a slow down in tempo, then a pick up in tempo. Can someone PLEASE stop rocking the damn boat?

With “raw cut footage” and steady-cam action blended together, the movie chugs along until a somewhat unexpected conclusion. It’s a nice venture; however, there really is no need for the first-person usage as it detracts from the lure of the story. In the end, the visuals fall prey to some cheesed-out CGI, and Inner Demons ends up looking like just another run-of-the-mill possession flick. Worth a rental if almost every other satanic-overtaking film isn’t streaming somewhere on this big ol’ Internet.

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Matt Boiselle

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