Devil Inside, The (2012)

The Devil InsideStarring Fernanda Andrade, Suzan Crowley, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Ionut Grama, Bonnie Morgan

Directed by William Brent Bell

The subject of possession is one of the most heated and debated topics of our time. Can demons seize control over humans, thereby causing great suffering to both themselves and everyone around them, or is it just mental illness? The Catholic Church would have you believe that latter, but let's face it; some things just cannot be explained, and if there is no such thing as demonic possession, why even train exorcists? Paramount Insurge's new film The Devil Inside tackles these questions while delivering some genuine scares to kick off the new year.

It all starts with a chilling phone call to police placed by a woman named Maria Rossi (Crowley). She alerts the authorities that she has slain three people. Upon arriving at her home, the police discover a massacre, and once Rossi is in custody, it becomes really apparent that she's not your ordinary killer. Something is just ... off. So off in fact that instead of being imprisoned, she's shipped off to Italy and locked down in an asylum.

Two decades later her daughter, Isabella (Andrade), has some questions about not only her mother and the crimes she has committed but also whether or not her mental illness runs in the family. After digging a bit, it turns out that her mom had killed the three victims while they were performing an exorcism on her. This raises a whole new set of questions, and Isabella is determined to find out exactly what happened that grisly evening and what is currently happening with her mother.

To get answers, she and her filmmaker friend, Michael (Grama), travel to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy, where her mother has been locked away. Their objective? Figure out if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. While in Rome, our pair meet up with two young exorcists (Quarterman, Helmuth) who convince the duo that in order to understand what is happening with Maria, they first have to understand what possession is. From there our group of truth-seekers end up taking one hell of a ride into the mouth of darkness where science and religion collide into a crescendo of terror.

Possession flicks are really hard to pull off effectively because of the shadow of the giant 400-pound gorilla in the room known as The Exorcist. If you go too far, you're ripping it off. If you don't go far enough, your flick is labeled boring. It truly is a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of problem for a filmmaker to have to face. Thankfully, director William Brent Bell walks the fine line between inspiration and imitation with nary a misstep. The Devil Inside is an effective thriller that's guaranteed to send some solid chills down the spines of audiences. It's only real shortcomings come from the cinéma vérité shooting style it utilizes. Though not in abundance, the usual pitfalls of the technique are present and accounted for along with a couple of horror movie clichés that serve to temporarily snap you briefly out of the otherwise immersive experience. Yes, sometimes our characters will make questionable choices that will lead to all sorts of bad things, but once you see how well said things are executed, you can for the most part forgive them.

For all those out there whose main complaints about cinéma vérité style films is that the camera is too shaky and you really never see anything, do not worry. The camera work never gets too out of hand, and when the shocks and scares do come, they hit like a punch to the jaw.

The film is loaded with nightmarish moments that will have people both shrieking and averting their eyes. A special mention has to go out to Bonnie Morgan, who plays the character of Rosa, and of course Suzan Crowley, who, much like Lorna Raver did in Drag Me to Hell, completely steals the show. These ladies go above and beyond the call of spooky with their performances, and there's no way this flick would have been as effective without them.

While not perfect, this tale of possession hits way more than it misses and follows perfectly in the footsteps of the Paranormal Activity franchise, proving that more can be done with passion and imagination than with an inflated budget. The Devil Inside is home to moments that will shock, scare, disturb, and leave you gasping. It's a trip to the dark side that's well worth taking. No matter what you believe in ... say your prayers.

3 1/2 out of 5

Discuss The Devil Inside in the comments section below!


Styling Shatner's picture

Well, as I listen to the newest DFF right now, I figured I should comment as I saw the movie last weekend at a drive-in, of all places.

Not to join the majority but I thought the movie was crap too. I wasn't spitting mad (literally) but I had heard the bad reviews so I was expecting to be disappointed. And hey, I thought it wasn't a good movie. I wasn't creeped out or scared or filled with terror or what have you. It was just dull and the characters were annoying. I have no desire to ever watch it again.

I also thought the ending was crap and they should have done it in a better way... which is also what I have to say about the website they wanted you to go to. I haven't gone through all these comments yet but that website being done to look like an incredibly amateur affair (with misspellings and even a continuity error concerning where that documentary filmmaker filmed his first movie) and of course NOT resolving the story as at least teased with the message at the end of the film... THAT offended me more than the ending itself.

Submitted by Styling Shatner on Fri, 01/13/2012 - 3:03pm.

Since when have Possessed People become Contortionists, it looks freakin' ridiculous. Well, at least the contortionist world is getting some work

Submitted by muncheez_247 on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 11:57am.
Shambling_in_Bandages's picture

Since as far back as 'The Exorcist', so they've only been doing it for about 40 years at this point.

Submitted by Shambling_in_Ba... on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 6:22pm.
PrairieGhost's picture

This is the best shit ever! I can't wait for DFF...

Submitted by PrairieGhost on Wed, 01/11/2012 - 4:33am.
Terminal's picture

I may have to check it out myself, and I never listen to podcasts. I'd love to hear UC rationalize his love for The Devil Inside.

Submitted by Terminal on Wed, 01/11/2012 - 7:28am.
Steve Barton's picture

First off, I have no love for the movie. If anything I'm merely amused by the hyperbolic hatred for the flick.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Wed, 01/11/2012 - 2:55pm.
Matt Serafini's picture

Well, to be fair, 3 1/2 knives DOES indicate a strong LIKE at the very least. :)

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 6:46pm.
James Coker's picture

hahahaha First Uncle Creepy for Devil Inside, then Kasch's TCM:Beginning now lets all attack Foy some more for Gingerdead man hahaha

Submitted by James Coker on Wed, 01/11/2012 - 1:22am.
James Coker's picture

BUZ i looked up Kasch's extremely positive review of TCM:beginning (its boggling my mind) and theres no comments what so ever below on the page

Submitted by James Coker on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:44pm.
Sirand's picture

In full disclosure, I've recanted that positive review after a second viewing. Not sure what the hell I was smoking.

Submitted by Sirand on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:54pm.
moderator Stick to your guns, pussy.
Steve Barton's picture

Stick to your guns, pussy.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:56pm.
admin moderator I wish we had a like button.
Jon Condit's picture

I wish we had a like button. I would use it so much right now.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:00pm.
Sirand's picture

Those are my guns: TCM:TB is mediocre as hell. Although still better than the remake.

Submitted by Sirand on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:19pm.
Genrewriter's picture

Just use the excuse that you're a huge R. Lee Ermey fan if it comes up on the next DFF. Pretty much the only reason I can think of to see either one of them, really.

Submitted by Genrewriter on Wed, 01/11/2012 - 5:02am.
moderator No, those are guns that have
Steve Barton's picture

No, those are guns that have been refurbished after you decided not to man-up and stand behind your words. Take your nuts outta your purse, fruit loop!

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:27pm.
Sirand's picture

Wrong again, Mr President of the Devil Inside fan club! Those were the guns I refurbished to shoot straight after I got drunk and blew my toe off! *gropes balls*

Submitted by Sirand on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:52pm.
moderator Continue to float cock-eyed
Steve Barton's picture

Continue to float cock-eyed in the murky sea of denial. A man only gets one setta guns, pardner!

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:53pm.
admin moderator That's because the review
Jon Condit's picture

That's because the review predates this site's comment system and was imported from the old Dread.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:52pm.
admin moderator I enjoyed the creepiness of
Jon Condit's picture

I enjoyed the creepiness of certain scenes. I think what it got right, it REALLY got right. But a handful of creep scenes doesn't make a solid film.

My reservations about the movie have always been it goes from 0-60 in a split second and for no discernible reason. As well as key elements and subplots just wandering off into the background scenery.

That said I didn't understand all the hate this film is getting. It wasn't THAT bad. But then I began to realize this film's only real sin just happens to be a cardinal one. There is little to no pay off, bordering on the side of "no pay off". Audiences feel cheated.

Had The Devil Inside come to a stellar and solid ending people would not be so angry or negative toward the film and may have otherwise liked it. In fact I would bet good money on that. Had this movie ended with a decent resolution the film would have gained a lot of support from mainstream audiences.

But this is not the case. The ending is so abrupt and resolves nothing. It is almost like the power went out in the theater and the owners decided to not refund your tickets.

If I had to rate it as is I would give it a 2.5 because I really personally enjoy exorcism films.

In my eyes to deserve the rating UC gave it, The Devil Inside requires a much more resolute ending.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:18pm.
moderator Yay more wood for the fire!
Steve Barton's picture

Yay more wood for the fire! I'm waiting to be randomly punched in the face by a Jehovah's witness next.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:32pm.
admin moderator Hey I'm not railing on you
Jon Condit's picture

Hey I'm not railing on you like these other people :D

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:37pm.
James Coker's picture

...I don't think I've ever seen one horror movie here on this website that has had this long of a comment board and this much "attacks" on one person...WOW :)

Submitted by James Coker on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 3:53am.
The Buz's picture

Go find the reviews for TCM: The Beginning, Shark Swarm, and AVP:R

Submitted by The Buz on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 2:16pm.
moderator It's okay, dude. I'm all
Steve Barton's picture

It's okay, dude. I'm all about battle damage! LOL

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 3:55am.
Matt Serafini's picture

Saw it this afternoon. Certainly not good, but hardly the worst thing ever. I realize that it's faint praise, but it held my attention for a very brisk 75 minutes. Plus, its hard to completely hate a film where a possessed priest tries drowning an infant.

I just thought it was a so-so verite flick that would've instantly been forgotten had it not been for the middle finger ending.

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 8:22pm.

If this film is as bad as everyone says, then why did it make $34 million on its opening weekend?

If you continue to act like sheep, then Hollywood will continue to treat you like sheep.

Submitted by Billz on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 5:08pm.
Foywonder's picture

"If this film is as bad as everyone says, then why did it make $34 million on its opening weekend?"

Marketing. Lack of competition. The general masses not bothering to read reviews before going to see it. Happens all the time. Ask this question again next weekend when we all see how steep the drop is once word of mouth spreads. Heck, not only did the audience openly jeer the movie at the screening I attended, before I even walked into the theater I heard a teenage girl tell two of her friends that another friend who already saw it said it was terrible and "it doesn't have an ending, just a web address pops up on the screen."

Submitted by Foywonder on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 5:14pm.
moderator I'm sure anything I say will
Debi Moore's picture

I'm sure anything I say will be countered with "you're just sticking up for Steve", but honestly, I don't get all the venom directed toward this flick. Is it a masterpiece? Hardly! But I'd says it's average or slightly above average for this type of found footage film. I went into it not expecting much and, while I would probably not rate it any higher than 3/5, wasn't nearly as pissed off and disappointed as the people commenting on it here seem to be. It's definitely worse than The Rite IMO. Sure, the climax was open-ended, but that's nothing new. Sure, there were things in the trailer that made you think one thing was going to happen when instead it was nothing like that, but again, that's not new either.

Overall I thought it provided a few good spooky moments with decent performances that involved me in the characters' lives just enough that I'd be curious to see what the filmmakers could come up with in terms of a sequel. My main beef was that the actress playing the daughter looks a LOT like Phoebe Tonkin, who plays Faye on The Secret Circle, and I kept waiting for her to talk and act like she does. LOL Really distracting.

You want to see a film that answers NOTHING? Check out Kill List when you get a chance, and then come back here with a comparison of the two. We watched it fairly soon after The Devil Inside, hoping to somewhat "cleanse" ourselves, but man, all we could think was, "If people are pissed off at TDI, what will they say about THIS one?"

Submitted by Debi Moore on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 5:02pm.
Terminal's picture

I intend to see the kill list, but no matter how bad that is it won't reduce the pure suckiness of this movie.

I see a lot of rationalizing and excuses for a site that should be taking this movie and the studio to task. It's a damn shame people are this easy to fool.

You and hubby are vastly in the minority on this opinion.

Submitted by Terminal on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 5:41pm.
moderator Take the studio to task for
Steve Barton's picture

Take the studio to task for what exactly? Putting money behind a low budget film thereby continuing to the leave the door open instead of closed for indie/young filmmakers plying their craft?

If we took every movie or studio to task for releasing something that someone doesn't like all you'd see here is complaining. Then again you might really dig that! LOL ;)

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 6:51pm.

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