Just say you know who made you see it
If it’s been 35 years or so since you last saw a movie about exorcism and you find yourself in the mood, “The Devil Inside” is a sufficiently disturbing, occasionally scary low-budget update of the genre. But that target audience isn’t very large, so those with any kind of reasonable standard when it comes to modern day Satan-influenced creep shows will likely detest what “The Devil Inside” attempts to do. At a running time of barely 75 minutes, at least the film can’t be faulted for getting to the point and not belaboring it.
Filmed faux-documentary style, imitating hugely successful franchises such as “Paranormal Activity,” and “The Blair Witch Project” before it, “Devil” begins with a 911 call and a bloody crime scene where three clergy are killed performing an exorcism. Flash to 2009 where the now adult daughter (Fernanda Andrade) of the woman responsible for the murders (Suzan Crowley, creepy good) travels to Italy to visit her mother where she is being kept in a hospital for the criminally insane.
Location shooting in Rome is a nice (and expensive) touch for a film of this genre, and it lends the film a modest authenticity. Two young priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) are another good element. with one feeling comfortable acting outside the Vatican’s authority and the other genuinely trying to stay true to the Church’s guidelines.
Apparently, many of the film’s most frightening moments that involve bone-bending, human contortion, multi-language gnashing and cursing, bloody excretions and bodies being thrown to and fro are all fairly derivative of this genre. Again, if you are a novice this kind of material is suitably spooky. To the veteran, less so. No doubt some moments will elicit the occasional unintended laughter – a real mood killer for those of us gripping our seats in terror.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of “The Devil Inside” is that despite its obvious flaws and the beating it will take from critics and filmgoers alike, the film will likely make huge profits, owing to its small budget and timely release (the only new movie on the weekend it opened). We haven’t seen the last of this type of film.
Another 35 year hiatus sounds about right.
Rated “R” for disturbing violent content and grisly images and for language including some sexual references.