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!


kiddcapone's picture

Steve, were you high when you wrote this review? Really? I mean, really? I swear, the end credits rolled and the jam packed audience LAUGHED. They fucking laughed LOUD. I'm quite positive that is not the reaction everyone involved was hoping for. Here is a serious movie about demonic possession and everyone felt so ripped off and unsatisfied they booed and laughed about being suckered into another one of these goddamn found footage pieces of garbage. I admit, I joined in. I let out a "holy fuck" and laughed with everyone else.

The Devil Inside is Apollo 18 in Rome. Holy fuck was it dull. 85% of the goddamn movie was bad dialogue and shitty acting. Everything was telegraphed. Once they said about multiple demons, and the priest was acting weird, I knew he was going to drown the kid and everyone would be possessed. The one thing I didn't see coming was the uber ridiculous anti-climatic ending. I swear, when the asshole was driving the car and the bitch was going bat shit crazy in the back, I started laughing right there. It felt like I was watching an episode of Scare Tactics. I was waiting for Tracy Morgan to hop out and say....YOU'RE ON SCARE TACTICS...then they crash and the credits roll. The ending of Yellowbrickroad was better.

I am done FOREVER with the shaky camera bullshit. DONE. It has been done to death. STOP trying to pretend it's 100% real footage. It's fucking embarrassing to insult the intelligence of anyone about the age of 12. Just knock it off. You want to know the most amazing thing? It's no secret, I never liked the Blair Witch Project. But do you know what? I'm beginning to gain a great appreciation for it. With every passing bullshit garbage cinema verite I subject myself to, I start to think, shit, BWP wasn't that bad afterall.

The Devil Inside is fucking garbage.


Submitted by kiddcapone on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 9:39pm.
James Coker's picture

oh Uncle Creepy I definitly know what its like to get shit on for liking a horror film that everyone else loathes...I liked DeadClowns,ManThing,Jason Goes to Hell and the Black Christmas Remake. FUCK YOU ALL :)

Submitted by James Coker on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 8:11pm.
Foywonder's picture

You, sir, just became my fourth segment. FEED HIM! FEED HIM!

Submitted by Foywonder on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 8:26pm.
theGoldenSimatar's picture

The Cinema Snob mentioned Dread Central in his review of the film

The leadup is starts at 9:30

Submitted by theGoldenSimatar on Sat, 01/07/2012 - 11:50pm.
Steve Barton's picture

Yay shot at Andrew Kasch! LOL

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 4:46pm.
Sirand's picture

Hey, I never said "best vampire movie" ever! I said "scariest vampires" ever. Silly bitches!

Submitted by Sirand on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 7:40pm.
nonserviam03's picture

haha I love the Cinema Snob

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 4:43pm.
Terminal's picture

I'll pass. We rarely share the same opinions on movies and I'm more prone to believe the majority of critics who are outright slamming this film as one of the worst of 2012 so far. No thanks.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 5:39pm.

This is currently the only positive review on Rotten Tomatoes.

Submitted by MouthForWar on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 6:31am.
moderator Actually, Variety liked it
Steve Barton's picture

Actually, Variety liked it too and gave it a positive review. I'm really surprised by all the outright fury this movie is causing mainly stemming from its ending. Again, as I said it's not perfect, but it delivers some fine chills and is ultra creepy.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 3:03pm.
Foywonder's picture

Congratulations, this is your Gingerdead Man. You're going to be getting shit about this for a
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

Submitted by Foywonder on Sat, 01/07/2012 - 5:09pm.
moderator Here's the difference, at
Steve Barton's picture

Here's the difference, at least the movie I thought was just pretty good, was liked by at least one other person on the planet Earth. One guy from Variety, some chick from Global Mail, Rick Florino from Artist Direct (who gave it an insane 4.5 out of 5), and Brian Collins from Horror Movie a Day, for sure! I'm in good company! Hence, you're still all alone in your floating shitboat of disco inspired Gingerbread.

And aside from Cloverfield and REC you HATE cinema verite films and only see them so that you can argue with me. That's like your thing or something.

All that being said .... embrace my balls like they're floatation devices and your only means to stay afloat in the Caspian sea. Thanks! ;)

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 4:57pm.
thehorrorchick's picture

For the record, I gave it a somewhat positive review too but I do see why people are pissed though. I personally didn't hate the abrupt ending (it's found footage people, there's no easy way to wrap up something "found") but it did feel like we were missing a reel or something at the end, kind of like they ran out money to finish the story.

Either way, it's enough to get people to talk about horror (good or bad) and isn't that the point? No one makes a movie to just get a "meh" reaction out of anyone...

Submitted by thehorrorchick on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 9:51pm.
Foywonder's picture

Here we go again. A three paragraph response and you're wrong in all three. Let me count the ways.

1) I am not the only critic that gave the Gingerdead Man a positive review. If you'd like I can link you to more positive reviews for it than you can Devil Inside. It's also not like Gingerdead Man was a theatrically released film that has been met with universal disdain from audiences all across the country and I was the first person on Rotten Tomatoes with a glowing review for it. Not the same. Not the same at all.

2) This double delusion you keep fostering that I hate cinema verite movies and do just to argue with you. Yes. It's all about you, isn't it? We'll just ignore the face that my five best horror movies of the year list includes TWO... TWO... TWO... found footage movies. Just ignore that one of those movies from the genre I hate so much made it onto my list TWO YEARS IN A ROW! Oh, but wait, I forgot that Cloverfield, the Rec movies, and TrollHunter don't count because, you know, acknowledging all of these films appearing on my year's best lists in the past completely destroys your meme. Those don't count, right? I don't hate found footage movies. I hate SHITTY found footage movies. You like SHITTY found footage movies. That is why I give you grief.

3) Embrace your balls? How can I embrace that which I intend to bust? Oh, Dinner for Fiends cannot come soon enough. I haven't even begun. Might as well go ahead and sew your mouth to my asshole because I am going to feed you! Though I don't think that will be much of a punishment because if you think The Devil Inside is a good movie then you clearly already like the taste of shit. :)~

Submitted by Foywonder on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 5:48pm.
moderator 1. A 3.5 review is far from
Steve Barton's picture

1. A 3.5 review is far from glowing, and I clearly stated the movie had its problems. I stand by that. Keep floating on that aforementioned disco inspired gingerbread raft. I see you've finally sailed your way to the sweet hate filled milk of the Denial Sea. We all have reviews that go against popular opinion or even sanity for that matter. I don't care what anyone else's opinion of the flick is, I dug it for what it was.

2. Okay, so you liked THREE found footage movies instead of two. It's not "always about me" (just most of the time) ... but you do love ribbing me any chance you get. That's cool. I like it. Maybe it's that you don't like movies about ghosts and shit. That's one of my favorite subgenres.

PS: My "meme" is fine and I shall continue to ignore "the face".

3. Oh, yes. This will be a good one. =D

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 6:27pm.
Matt Serafini's picture

Reading this little exchange had me in tears.

Also, I'll be going to see this thing on Tuesday after work ... JUST for DFF.

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 6:46pm.
Foywonder's picture

1) Denial Sea? Huh? Even I fully admit I went overboard giving it four knives but I still don't have any problem admitting I liked it as a STUPID BAD MOVIE. You actually think The Devil Inside is a good movie. Humongous difference.

2) You can't even count. I just named four found footage flicks that have made my best list in recent years and you say I only like three. This is why you get ribbed. "Maybe it's that you don't like movies about ghosts and shit." Accurate statement if you remove the words "ghosts and".

3) The Phantom Menace is about to be re-released so we can pause from the Devil Inside hate to give Fini more grief. See, we can agree on things.

PS: "the face"?

Submitted by Foywonder on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 6:44pm.
Matt Serafini's picture

^ I'll be there in February. Opening night.

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 6:47pm.
Foywonder's picture

And the third segment of my Human Centipede has been found. FEED HIM!

Submitted by Foywonder on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 7:38pm.
nonserviam03's picture

I can't wait for the next Dinner for Fiends

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Sat, 01/07/2012 - 6:46pm.
Genrewriter's picture

Same here. Even if they spend the rest of the show talking about what kind of bread makes the best toast, the discussion of this film alone will make it all worth every second.

Submitted by Genrewriter on Sun, 01/08/2012 - 11:42pm.
nonserviam03's picture

this film was missing a third act. I mean... just as it was starting to get going and everything was starting to hit the fan and it looked like we were about to reach a climax... the credits roll.

That, and the best moment in the movie was ruined since it was released online as a preview clip (baptism). Although... it worked better online, since there was no build up to it, making it more shocking. My friends said they saw it coming in the movie.

This movie really disappointed me.

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 4:16am.
moderator The ending is abrupt but I
Steve Barton's picture

The ending is abrupt but I really dug everything that came before it.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 4:30am.
nonserviam03's picture

I wanted to like it, but for me most of it just fell flat. The only things I really started to like were towards the end, like the girl getting possessed (didn't expect the main character to get possessed). That, and a bunch of subplots just never went anywhere. What was the deal with the priest and his uncle? What about the pregnancy that she terminated? That never went anywhere. The red tape with the church never really became important. The mother just dropped off the face of the earth and never became important again.

There were just all those threads that never got resolved.

That, and I can't really say the movie ever got creepy or scary in the least. Idk what it was, but the trailer was way scarier than the movie turned out to be.

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 5:51pm.
James Coker's picture

hhmmm Im not into exorcist films too much creepy, is this one at least better then "the Last Exorcism"?...I already know its better then the turd that is Exorcism of Emily Rose

Submitted by James Coker on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 2:29pm.
moderator I liked The Last Exorcism a
Steve Barton's picture

I liked The Last Exorcism a lot, but this one definitely has more horror bang for your buck!

Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 2:53pm.
Sirand's picture

What bang was that exactly? The website address they gave you at the end of the movie?

Submitted by Sirand on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 3:50am.
moderator No, more exorcism/demonic
Steve Barton's picture

No, more exorcism/demonic action.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 4:06am.
The Buz's picture

The bang must be that just so fucking terrifying nun shot. You know...the really important one.

Submitted by The Buz on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 4:11am.

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