Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Devil Inside (2012) - Review
There's something inherently creepy about demonic possession. Just the idea that something so evil can completely take over a regular person and make them do their bidding is disturbing. And there's a right way and a wrong way to do demonic possession. Take movies like The Evil Dead and The Exorcist; you really buy that those people have been taken over (most likely due at least partially to the amazing effects of those two movies). But here... it just doesn't work. There's nothing at all creepy, effective, or even remotely interesting in this movie.
Found footage movies are always a mixed bag. For every Paranormal Activity, there's a Grave Encounters to drag it down. But the thing is, having an exorcist found footage film isn't even new. The Last Exorcism is only two years old and it outperforms this in every single way. The actors are better, the writing is better, the pacing is better, and the ending is... you get the idea.
This movie has done the impossible: it has made possession boring. It's pretty impressive actually. There's a pretty disgusting exorcism scene in the film that involves a girl contorting around in a very unnatural manner. But by this point, it's like "so what?" and maybe that comes from seeing a couple movies about exorcisms and there's only so much you can do with the premise. But the direction of this movie is awful; no one really reacts to this girl bending her joints in such a crazy way and it really just makes it hard to get sucked into the moment.
That's kind of how the whole movie is. The lines are so badly written (though decently acted for the most part) it never allows you to even believe that demonic possessions could be real in this universe. The movie lacks conviction, I guess you could say. And oh, that ending. I know it's sort of a given that found footage movies aren't going to have big conclusive endings, but this was the biggest non-ending in the world. It's the equivalent of shooting an hour and a half of footage and then just giving up. Maybe they should have given up an hour and a half ago.