FILM REVIEW: The Devil Inside (2012)

New horror disappointments.

Horror films dealing with demon possession are pretty much my horror kryptonite. Ever since The Exorcist, I've always been particularly scared by these types of films. They tend to take everything sacred and holy that  the Catholic religion has ever thrown at you and flip it all upside down. And no film has ever done it with the  level of potency that The Exorcist demonstrated. It is almost as if demons have prevented a good film to be made since William Friedkin's original masterpiece. The Devil Inside promises to scare the Holy Ghost out of you. Does it succeed in recapturing the disturbing frights that The Exorcist first gave us?


The Devil Inside reaches new ground in frustrating its audience. In fact...I am going to go ahead and pre-nominate it as MOST FRUSTRATING HORROR FILM OF 2012. Kind of sad when you take into account that here we are...only 7 days into the new year. And even more sad when you consider that this film could have been a really scary entry into the demonic possession sub genre.

The Devil Inside opens with a sub-titled 911 phone call where Maria Rossi reveals that she killed three people. Then we're treated to a nice little creepy police walk-through into the murder crime scene where Maria Rossi is found, apparently, hiding in some crawlspace. There's a news telecast that shows us how Maria Rossi was found not-guilty due to reasons of insanity and then is committed to a mental hospital. She is later shipped over seas to a mental hospital in Rome...because...well...I'm not sure.

Fast forward 20 years and Maria's only daughter, Isabella (played by Fernanda Andrade, who has an impressive television resume), is making a documentary film with her "documentary filmmaker" friend, Michael (the unfortunately named Ionut Grama), about what her mom is up to these days. So, they travel to Rome and take a few exorcism classes where they meet the films most intriguing plot devices in the form of rogue exorcists, Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth). Both Isabella and Michael are eventually invited to one of their unsanctioned exorcisms to see what all the fuss is about.

Isabella is so impressed that she asks Ben, with the reluctance of David, to perform an exorcism on her mom to see if there's a chance in making her all better. Everyone agrees and soon...they open up the gates of hell. Pretty cool premise so far...huh?

Well, is an interesting premise. Especially when the rogue exorcists show up. It's kind of a cool place to take a demonic possession horror film. And...if you are willing to ignore spotty dialogue from underdeveloped characters as well as an inept display of camerawork...then, the film manages to entertain with some disturbing scenes, mostly due to its creepy atmosphere.

Then...there's the ending.

I'm gonna do something here that I always try my absolute best not to do. Spoil a film's ending. So, if you do want to waste your money and time and check out a horror film that basically hoodwinks you with an otherwise decent set-up...until that ending...then, please skip to the rating and...good luck with that. If you value your time and cash...then, join me below.

I can't recommend The Devil Inside because of the scam of an ending it has. While I won't spoil any of the major plot points, I will say that once the film's survivors are speeding off into, what looks like, a truly gripping all fucking comes to a halt. After such an intriguing build up...everything just fucking stops. WTFUCK?! I saw the film with a packed, I was immediately surrounded by WTF's all around me once the film cut to black. The film even had the audacity to invite you over to their goddamn website for details on what happened to Isabella.

Fucking seriously??!

It's the cinematic equivalent of going out with a hot girl...on a perfect date. She's dressed all sexy and after dinner...she reveals how she is going to fellate you in ways that you've never dreamed of before. So, you basically have a really cool time with this hot girl...until she just gets up and leaves. But, before she leaves...she takes whatever money you have left in your pocket and gives you her website address where you can probably watch her playing with a hula hoop. You're left in the dark...with your pants around your knees...wondering what in the fucky fuck just happened.

The Devil Inside is the kind of horror film that you can't help but imagine how good the result could have been had the filmmakers actually gave a damn about the ENTIRE story. Instead, the viewer is left with an incomplete film promising to fill you in on the rest via a web address. This isn't horror filmmaking. This is highway robbery. I'm so sick of gimmicks at the theater, already. I just want a great horror film. Is that too fucking much to ask for these days??

Anyway...if you want to give your money and time to Paramount for a film that only gives you two/thirds of a film...then, by all means. However, I can't recommend this film to you in good conscience because I care about you way too much. DO NOT let this devil inside.

Thanks for reading,