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The Devil Inside

This was a mercy watch in honor of the rapidly approaching All Hallows’ Eve. My figuring was I would do it, so you wouldn’t have to(that’s just the kind of guy I am). Besides, I found myself alone at home on a Saturday, with one son with his Mom at a birthday party, and the other at a friend’s house. Chores were done, workout completed and an entire menu of Cable On Demand channels at my fingertips. Oh…how about this horror film that got a lot of press after unexpectedly raking in 33 million dollars on an early January opening weekend? There was incredible buzz about this micro-budget fright flick garnering so much moolah during the supposedly hot awards season(as usual, there’s no accounting for taste). Lump in my free preview weekend for this particular premium channel…so it would be my only chance. Running time just 83 minutes? Oh, what the hell…I’ll take one for the team. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be not half bad! Now, don’t get me wrong—it is not very good. The overall plot is kind of silly, and the ending is abrupt and inconclusive(a shameless scroll before the end-credits sends you to a website to “find out more”). And those ending credits! They roll upwards at a snaaaiiil’s paaace…I guess to flesh out the advertised running time. The actual movie clocks in at about and hour and fifteen minutes. And, of course, it is a “found-footage” film, modeled after the granddaddy of them all, “The Blair Witch Project”(who knew how far-reaching those tendrils would be way back in the summer of 1999?). On the other hand, it has that priceless low-budget feel(apparently cost about a million, and grossed 100 million worldwide). In other words, it’s goddamn creepy. It also has a downright frightening turn from Suzan Crowley as the possessed Maria Rossi. The movie opens after she violently murders three people and then places a zombie-like call to 911 to turn herself in. Then the cops arrive at her home to find a horrendous bloodbath. Fast forward two decades as her now grown daughter, Isabella(Fernanda Andrade), decides to investigate the crime and film a documentary about exorcism. Her Mom, of course, was judged criminally insane, and then sent to a Vatican-approved psychiatric hospital in Rome. Seems the triple-murder that opened the movie was committed during an exorcism. Linda Blair is somewhere smiling with pride. What follows is an increasingly wild free-for-all of multiple possessions, suicides, levitations, sickening body contortions and a foreboding(you can see it coming from a mile away, but that doesn’t make it any less horrible)baptism scene. For fans of demonic, horror-type stuff…this is ridiculously fun. I mean, it’s easy to pick on something of this ilk. It has no big stars, nor any type of high-brow pedigree. It’s just a simple horror story amongst a field that is populated by MUCH, MUCH worse. Are you going to tell me that you weren’t on the edge of your seat as Isabella sat in the hospital room with her whacked-out Mom after not seeing her for over twenty years? “Connect the cuts, connect the cuts, connect the cuts”, spews the character of Maria Rossi. It’s scary stuff! What is she going to do next?! It’s cheap, but it’s effective. I don’t want to champion this too much. It is difficult for me to outright recommend it. But I sure was giddily squirming when that Rosa character(Bonnie Morgan)was twisting herself pretzel-like into a combination of completely unnatural positions. For that alone, this thing is worth a look. And I can’t help but think, that if not for the truncated finale, this flick might have a better reputation. Especially considering that the filmmakers ran out of ideas, and then sprinted away with your cash. Paying to sit in a theater to watch this would have pissed me off, too. However, if you chose this over “The Artist”, or even “Hugo”, back in January of this year…I do not feel sorry for you at all. You got exactly what you deserved.       Grade:  C

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2 comments on “The Devil Inside

  1. Thanks for taking one for this team.

  2. Yes, I sometimes do put my readers interests above that of my own. But, that being said, I will take “The Devil Inside” over something like “The Iron Lady” any day of the week! ML

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