We are not even through the first full week of the New Year, and I have seen a movie that is likely to appear on my Worst Of List at the conclusion of 2012.
Today’s release of The Devil Inside didn’t come with a lot of fanfare. Much like Anthony Hopkins’ The Rite which was released at the same time last year, this tale of possession and exorcism got dumped into the mix of inferior January releases and proved why it belongs on the scrap heap.
The film opens in 1989 where Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) calls 911 to report that she has just killed three members of the church who were performing an exorcism on her. As would happen with anyone accused of committing a multiple homicide, Maria is then sent to Italy (huh?) where she finds herself institutionalized.
Flash forward to present day and Maria’s daughter, Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) is searching for answers to exactly what happened to her poor mother that fateful evening that left two priests and a nun on the bloody side of an axe. Isabella worries that if it was a mental deficiency that she too might one day fall prey to the violent outbursts that lead to clergy killing.
Isabella is able to use charm and uncommon sense to persuade two Italian priests Ben and David (Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth) to assist in her fact finding mission. And it is during her meetings with her estranged mother that we learn that Maria is not just possessed by one demon, but as many as four!
What transpires over the final 60 minutes is a parade of uninteresting twists (if you can call them that) and boring revelations. But for a movie that is billed as a horror/thriller, there is very little horrifying or thrilling on the screen. As with most inferior movies of the genre, the people in The Devil Inside do stupid things and put themselves in stupid situations which usually result in them being harmed.
The film was written and directed by William Brent Bell and if you have never heard of the director of Stay Alive or Sparkle and Charm, we highly doubt that The Devil Inside is going to put Mr. Bell on your ‘watch list’.
With so many things wrong with the overall production, it doesn’t seem right to spend an inordinate amount of time in an attempt to dive into all the film’s problems. About the only thing the film does right is keeping the running time under 90-minutes so that the time investment is not abundant.
Horror fans will be bored. Thriller fans will be restless. And I will be looking back at 2012 in eleven months from now wondering what better use I could have done with my $12.