Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Devil Inside-review

You have seen this movie already. “The Devil Inside” is Paramount’s lame attempt to capture the same lightening in a bottle that “Paranormal Activity” did, and it shows in every painful, nausea-inducing frame.  The plot is simplistic and stolen lazily from other movies like “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, “The Exorcist,” “The Rite” and even “Fallen” to name a few. 
The story is about a woman named Maria Rossi, played by Suzan Crowley. Maria murders three people who were performing an exorcism on her in the late 80s. She is eventually moved to a psychiatric hospital in the Vatican. (Nice cover guys.)  Twenty years later her daughter Isabella, played by Fernanda Andrade, is part of a film crew attempting to find answers as to what became of her mother.  Is she really possessed or just mentally ill?  Where will this strange journey take her?
The acting is on par with something you would see in an Asylum production direct to DVD movie.  No one seems to take the material seriously at all. When Isabella sees her mother snap and act like a deranged demon for the first time, the audience simply sees a lone tear roll down her cheek, as if she was just stood up for a date from a guy she really liked.  The other characters performances are a lot worse in their motivations. This might also be attributed a lot to the fact that the writing was wretched.
“The Devil Inside” almost seems to have been written hastily over a weekend. The characters are so poorly developed and lack so much motivation that in no way is the audience ever going to care when anything happens to them. For example, one of the priests gets a slight bit of back story about how his uncle may have molested him, but it’s shoehorned at the end right before one of the laziest endings I’ve seen in long time.  There are attacks that should have killed the characters or at the very least left them limping, but they are fine and dandy come a scene change.  The scares come at you in the cheapest way known- jump scares. 
Normally I am not one to find POV movies that bad. This one nauseated me. “The Blair Witch Project” and “Quarantine” are easier to watch than this movie and those movies shook like they were held by a Parkinson’s patient on a paint mixer.  Between every headache of a scene there is a transition that jars at you with the date and time like “The Shining,” and just as abrupt.
To this movie’s credit I am impressed by the use of an actual contortionist, Bonnie Morgan, who played the possessed girl, Rosa.  Her scenes were the coolest thing in a pretty dismal movie. Still, that wee performance is not enough to make up for the whole movie of under and overacting. 
My final thoughts are: This movie is a mess of epic proportions that shouldn’t be seen. It’s so clear that there is no real thought or care whatsoever put into this project. As I said earlier in the review “The Devil Inside” rips-off a lot of movies that do a lot better at telling stories of battles with Demons. Watch any of them before watching this and your experience will be much more rewarded.  “The Blair Witch Project”and “Paranormal Activity” did well in the box office and continue to be loved by people for a good reason. They were creative and well done for tiny budget. “The Devil Inside” feels like it badly wants to be that kind of movie, but fails on every conceivable level.

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