Northeast Times

‘The Devil Inside’: Boring, bad and funny

Start­Frag­ment

The Dev­il In­side will cer­tainly be among some Top 10 lists at the end of 2012. As in, one of Top 10 worst movies of the year.

It’s one of the first new re­leases of the new year — when movie stu­di­os typ­ic­ally drop their cheaply made garbage movies. The one good thing go­ing for The Dev­il In­side — those crafty mar­ket­ing and ad­vert­ising folks that made this stinker look slightly scary. Bait and switch? You betcha.

It’s hard to sug­ar­coat this one. The Dev­il In­side is bad — laugh­ably bad. It’s al­most worth see­ing just to laugh at how ri­dicu­lous it is, though I cer­tainly wouldn’t re­com­mend pay­ing premi­um movie-theat­er prices for it.

Three-quar­ters of the movie is just plain dull, and when things seem like they may fi­nally get in­ter­est­ing (or scary), the movie just ends. It’s like the film­makers just ran out of money and ended the movie at the most cli­mactic mo­ment. Yep, the screen goes dark (with some silly mes­sage about vis­it­ing a Web site for more in­form­a­tion on the case) and the slow­est cred­its I’ve ever seen be­gin to roll.

Hop­ing to cap­it­al­ize on the suc­cess of movies like The Blair Witch Pro­ject, Clover­field and Paranor­mal Activ­ity, The Dev­il In­side is shot in that ir­rit­at­ing fake-doc­u­ment­ary style (some­time called “mock­u­ment­ary”). That style is com­pletely wasted on me, since I nev­er for one minute would be­lieve that any of it is real. The mock­u­ment­ary style usu­ally means the dreaded, head­ache-in­du­cing shaky cam, and this movie is no dif­fer­ent. I’ll take those an­noy­ing 3-D glasses over shaky cam any day.

Mi­chael (Ionut Grama) is the doc­u­ment­ary-maker fol­low­ing Isa­bella Rossi (Fernanda An­drade) as she treks to Italy on a mis­sion to dis­cov­er if her moth­er Maria (Susan Crow­ley) is really pos­sessed by the dev­il. Some 20 years ago, Maria al­legedly murdered three people dur­ing an ex­or­cism per­formed on her. Maria was found to be in­sane and shipped off to a psy­chi­at­ric hos­pit­al in Italy. Isa­bella meets two Cath­ol­ic priests, Ben (Si­mon Quarter­man) and Dav­id (Evan Helmuth), who spe­cial­ize in ex­or­cism. They agree to take on Isa­bella’s case and meet with Maria in the asylum.

There are some graph­ic mo­ments (in­clud­ing one par­tic­u­larly cringe-in­du­cing sui­cide), but as a whole, the movie was not a bloody as I ex­pec­ted. There are a couple ex­or­cisms, but none are par­tic­u­larly grue­some. The movie also is not scary at all. It’s kind of sad when a bark­ing dog is the only jump-worthy mo­ment in a hor­ror flick.

Writer and dir­ect­or Wil­li­am Brent Bell and co-writer Mat­thew Peter­man def­in­itely should have spent more time on Maria, since she’s the most in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter (Crow­ley gives a suf­fi­ciently creepy per­form­ance as well). The ads make it seem like the movie is about her, when really it’s more about the bor­ing Isa­bella and the priests (those act­ors seemed to be go­ing through the mo­tions).

To sum things up, The Dev­il In­side is filled with act­ors you prob­ably won’t re­cog­nize, is not scary and has one of the worst end­ings ever. This is one “found foot­age” flick that should have stayed lost. ••

Movie Grade: F

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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