The Devil Inside focuses on a triple murder that was committed by Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) in 1989. She was in the middle of being exorcised by a nun and two priests. She ended up killing them after she escaped from her restraints. After the murders, she was found not guilty because she was found to be insane. Maria was put in a mental hospital, and The Vatican eventually stepped in on her behalf and transferred her to the Centrino Mental Hospital in Rome.
Twenty years later in 2009, Maria’s only daughter Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) is curious about her mother and what happened to her. She decides to visit her mother in Rome and also learn about exorcism. She learns more about exorcism from two young priests, Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth), who operate outside of The Vatican’s knowledge.
The Devil Inside is shot in a documentary style, trying to convince the viewers that all that you are seeing really happened. There are a lot of jumpy and shaky camera shots that are excessively used. Of course, this is not a true story, even though it is supposed to make you think it is. The documentarian, Michael (Ionut Grama), is also included as a character in the film.
The promotion for this film has been excellent. The trailer excelled at scaring the crap out of me. The buzz on the film has been great just from the promotion alone. I saw The Devil Inside at a Thursday night screening a day before its release in theatres. I went into the screening thinking I was probably not going to be able to sleep that night.
The film does have a pretty good build up of suspense for the first time the viewers see an attempted exorcism by David and Ben who allow Isabella and Michael to attend and film it. What you will see is rightfully scary and creepy. There is also an attempted exorcism on Maria by Ben and David that has a pretty good moment of dread. Unfortunately, the film falls flat soon after.
There is way too much conversation and too many interviews in this film as it continues to try and convince the viewers that this happened for real. The film becomes stupid in the last twenty minutes, and the scenes that lead up to the ending are, again, stupid. The ending itself is not climatic and will surely make some viewers angry. There was at least one person in my screening that gave the screen a middle finger after the ending.
The Devil Inside tries to be like Paranormal Activity and fails. The ending is also like Paranormal Activity, leaving it open for a sequel if it makes enough money at the box office. The ending was so anti-climatic that I stayed through the very slow end credits to see if there was a scene at the end that would hint at what happened. There is nothing at the end, so do not bother sitting around waiting for some sort of closure.
The Devil Inside could have been a good horror flick, but failed. It had potential, and I am sure people will be seeing it on Friday and Saturday. Alas, once word-of-mouth spreads, it will sink like a ship. Save your money this weekend, and go and see a better film. Any film out in theatres right now has to be better than what this film ended up being.
I give The Devil Inside 1 “Dilated Pupil” out of 5.