Through all the crap that Hollywood comes up with, us horror fans have to look real hard for anything worth watching. When the trailer popped up for Devil Inside, we were collectively psyched. Here comes another mockumentary/found footage film to join the current trend with some serious exorcism subject matter. There were teaser trailer after teaser trailer, and I always watched, getting scene after scene until I could finally see it in full length. The trailers certainly enjoyed depicting a movie that was filled with heart-pounding intensity and high volume scares. To my dismay however, there was a lot less to be scared about when it came to the whole film.
The opening involves a 911 call, archived police footage, and news reports, all circulating the night that Maria Rossi murdered three people. Now 20 years later, Isabella (Fernanda Andrade), Maria’s daughter, has decided to investigate what really happened that night, and if her mother is either mentally ill, or possibly possessed. She has decided to document her experience, and her friend Michael has agreed to film her entire journey. The two must travel to Rome, where Maria was transferred to the Vatican without much explanation as to why.
In Rome, Isabella uncovers classes teaching exorcism theories and meets David (Even Helmuth) and Ben (Simon Quarterman), two ordained priests who believe differently in exorcisms than the Church. The three of them become entangled when Isabella decides an exorcism may be the thing to distinguish Maria’s illness. Unfortunately for them the Vatican is hardly assisting when it comes to helping individuals who may be possessed, so the trio must pursue the matter, putting themselves in harm’s way to hopefully exorcise an innocent woman.
So, what can I say? Devil Inside had serious potential but something about it fell flat. I definitely enjoyed the camera work, but a lot of it was copy and paste from what we’ve seen from Paranormal Activity or The Last Exorcism. I had trouble feeling the realism of the characters. Considering it’s attempting to come across as actual events, they could’ve done better at being less scripted. For an exorcism movie, they did very well at demonstrating the exorcisms themselves, including plenty of body contortion, demonic voices, flickering camera work, and preternatural occurrences. We tend to look at The Exorcist as a standard for exorcism movies and The Devil Inside did well by that movie, infusing a more modern take on it. The most disappointing quality to the film was its ending. Just when things were getting really interesting, it literally abruptly ends and reads, “The case remains unsolved. For more information, go to therossifiles.com” It was like having a book that’s missing the last chapter.
Of course I was curious about the website and I went to it. It made me even more let down. If you haven’t seen the film, the website won’t ruin it for you, but it may have too much information than you’re willing to see. After seeing the movie however, and being left with this yearning for a conclusion, the website hardly did anything at all for me. It isn’t constructed well and it’s almost like a pile of junk that you have to search through for anything good.