Combustible Celluloid
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With: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Ionut Grama, Suzan Crowley
Written by: William Brent Bell, Matthew Peterman
Directed by: William Brent Bell
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content and grisly images, and for language including some sexual references
Running Time: 87
Date: 01/05/2012

The Devil Inside (2012)

2 Stars (out of 4)

He Made Me Do It

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The fake documentary horror film seems to have totally run its course; the genre re-uses the same ideas again and again, such as trying to fool the audience into thinking the events are real, etc. The Devil Inside is fairly lazy on most counts. It barely cooks up any kind of character or dramatic arc, even though Fernanda Andrade has wonderful screen presence, and the two priest characters share an interesting moral conundrum.

When Isabella Rossi (Andrade) was a child, her mother went crazy and killed three priests during an exorcism. Now as an adult, Isabella wants to visit her mother in Rome and try to unravel the mystery of what happened, hoping to prevent the same thing from happening again. She learns that her mother may be possessed, but that the Church probably won't help her. Accompanied by her cameraman, Michael (Ionut Grama), she turns to a couple of young priests, Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth), who specialize in cases that the Church has ignored or turned down. Unfortunately, her mother seems to have more than one demon inside her, and these demons are looking for a new home.

However, this fairly young subgenre is still able to cook up some good scares, mainly through a lack of incidental music and through the long takes of the hand-held cameras. The rhythms are unpredictable, and it's never quite clear when something is going to suddenly jump up or switch gears. And indeed, this movie has a few decent tricks up its sleeve. But it leaves off in an unsatisfying manner, having left a several stones unturned and several ideas untapped.
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