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The Devil Inside

The Devil Inside

Released 16 March 2012
Director William Brent Bell

Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Ionut Grama, Suzan Crowley, Bonnie Morgan

William Brent Bell, Matthew Peterman

Morris Paulson, Matthew Peterman
Origin United States
Running Time 87 minutes
Genre Horror, thriller
Rating 16


After the release of cult classic Night of the Living Dead in 1968, pale imitations began to spring up from all movie making corners. It’s easy to see why - zombie flicks were cheap to produce and had a premise that could be tweaked slightly before being cranked out to the youth market as easy money spinners. The Blair Witch Project (1999), has had a similar legacy for its low budget, viral marketing and found footage technique. Over a decade later, these handheld horror films are being churned out at a tiresomely rapid rate; minimum cost leading to maximum profits without a thought being given to quality anywhere along the line.

When The Devil Inside was released in the U.S. in January it duly hit the headlines for its unprecedented success at the box office after being acquired by Paramount for just one million dollars. The story follows a young woman named Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) as she travels to Rome to visit her mother Maria (Suzan Crowley) in a home for the criminally insane. Years earlier, Maria had murdered three people during an apparent exorcism being performed on her. Isabella persuades two rogue exorcist priests to visit her mother and ascertain if her crime was a result of mental illness or demonic possession.

And it really is a load of old rubbish; old being the operative word as every tiny shred of this film has been recycled from something else. In fact, perhaps a good game to entertain yourself while watching (you certainly won’t be cowering behind your seat) is to spot little pieces poached from other films (The Exorcist of course, The Last Exorcism, Blair Witch, REC and pretty much every other found footage movie). Bones crack, a young woman curses up a blue streak and some unconvincing clergy have crises of faith. It’s all been done before and done better.

So it brings nothing new to the table and isn’t remotely scary but worse than that The Devil Inside is a deeply cynical enterprise. This won’t stop it earning a whole lot of money of course (and provide director William Brent Bell with steady work) but if the screening I attended is anything to go by, most people will feel it was money wasted.

- Linda O’Brien