In 1989 Italian police receive a phone call from creepy Maria, who claims to have murdered three people. Arriving at the scene of the crime we follow the police (via crime scene investigation video) and find the end result of an exorcism gone terribly wrong. Having brutally murdered three priests, Maria is arrested growling like Linda Blair. She is subsequently deemed nuts and sentenced to life in Centrino Mental Hospital in Rome. Fast forward 20 years later where we meet Maria’s daughter, Isabella, who is hell-bent on finding out what happened to her mother. She decides to make a documentary of the entire affair, of course, and The Devil Inside is Isabella’s (found footage) documentary. Travelling to Rome, Isabella enlists the aid of two rogue priests who agree to help her save her mother.
The Devil Inside is terrible.
I’m a shaky-cam apologist but the excessive shaking found in The Devil Inside renders the exorcisms, which should have been the best part of the movie, dizzying and annoying. Doesn’t anyone know how to hold a fucking camera? The Devil Inside offers nothing that we haven’t seen before. To his credit Friedkin set such a high standard 30 years ago that it remains the only demon possession film anyone ever needs to see. Never scary for a second the story abruptly ends at a random moment. It’s as if the filmmakers said to the audience, “Yeah, we didn’t have an ending for this.” Given that the film was made for $1 million and grossed $100 million horror movie filmmakers don’t care about quality control and I don’t blame them. They know that teenagers will watch anything so there is no incentive to attempt anything remotely interesting. The film is cheaply made, terribly edited, badly acted and has no resolution. Avoid, avoid, avoid.