"Derivative, Boring, Depressing, and Abhorrent"
What You Need To Know:
THE DEVIL INSIDE is a poorly executed and written, low-budget horror flick. It has lots of extreme violence and some graphic foul language. It tries to repeat the success of movies like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. However, it’s an unsuccessful mishmash of Christian content with heretical or aberrant theology. For example, demons are made to be more powerful than they really are, and evil is victorious. THE DEVIL INSIDE will disappoint horror fans, confuse the uninformed, and offend mature Christians.
(PaPaPa, CC, H, AbAb, FRFR, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, DD, MMM) Very strong mixed pagan worldview featuring vigilante, maverick Roman Catholic priests who disagree with the Vatican rulings on exorcism and assist the protagonist in the investigation of her mother’s internment in a Roman mental hospital near the Vatican, based on the assumption that “the Church isn’t in the business of healing” and one has to help oneself, with lots of religions icons, crosses, church scenes, and a reference to “Matthew 5:1-13” scribbled on the class blackboard at the Vatican, but the Christian content is tainted by some self-help humanism, the anti-biblical ending where the demonic evil is victorious in the end (even over ordained Christian leaders) and by heretical and problematic theology throughout, such as the correct claim that the Catholic Church updated the exorcism rites in 1999 is coupled with a completely false claim that, according to Catholic doctrine unbaptised babies end up in Hell (the Vatican renounced the position that unbaptised souls spend eternity in Limbo) and the apparent fact that the movie makes demons seem much more powerful than they really are; 22 obscenities (mostly “s” and “f” words) and four light profanities; very strong violence includes murder and graphic violence with lots of blood, mutilation of bodies, contorted bodies under the influence of demonic possession, possessed woman throws priest across the room, priest blows his brains out against Bible pages pinned up on wall and blood splatters on them, violent car crash; sexually-charged language, demonically possessed woman fantasizes about sex and acts out the movements on bed; no explicit nudity but scantily-clad woman on tape in exorcism in underwear, and then again woman in exorcism shown in tank top and underwear; priest and other exorcism students drink in pub with a bottle of Chianti on dinner table; priest smokes, cigarettes in ashtray, and a reference to the physical effects of drugs on one’s pupils; and, a reference to the female protagonist having an abortion, tasteless and manipulative attacks on the Roman Catholic church, misrepresentation of institutionalized religion, and implication that the church is self-serving, priest questions the authority of the church, and demons win out in the end by inducing the death of one priest who almost drowns a baby during a baptism, then later forgets how to say the Lord’s Prayer and commits suicide by blowing his brains out, and, eventually, the death of the female protagonist, her camera man, and the second priest.
The bad news is that THE DEVIL INSIDE is an unsuccessful, poorly executed, poorly written, low-budget horror flick trying to rip off the success of movies like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. The good news is that it is so forgettable and disappointing, that it will leave even the most devoted horror fans booing their way out of the theatre. On the other hand, if the filmmakers’ goal was to clone some poor quality, less than middle-school student hand-held film project, they achieved their goal.
The low-quality fake documentary begins back in 1989, with the record of a 911 call from a woman who claims, “I killed them all.” Next, emergency responders work their way through the crime scene, revealing the bloody bodies of two priests and a nun. Soon after, a newscaster announces that the perpetrator, a distraught woman named Maria, went out of her mind while hosting a local church meeting in her home. She’s tried for murder, acquitted on an insanity plea, and promptly transferred to a mental hospital close to the Vatican.
Twenty years later, determined to find out what happened to her mother that night, Maria’s daughter Isabella travels to Italy with an amateur videographer. There, she meets two ordained priests and exorcists, who perform unauthorized exorcisms for victims of demonic possession who can’t get their cases heard by Roman Catholic officials.
The investigators discover Isabella’s mother is in fact possessed by a powerful super demon. They perform an exorcism without being experienced enough to do so (and, without bothering to bless the lay people involved, since the filmmakers didn’t do their research seriously). [SPOILERS FOLLOW] The terrible result is that they all become possessed in turn. This results in one priest almost drowning a baby during a baptism in a church and then blowing his brains out all over a series of Bible pages glued to the wall. Unsure of how to end their script, the writers opt for a convenient car crash and refer viewers to a website where they can find out more about the ongoing investigation.
THE DEVIL INSIDE will disappoint horror fans, confuse the uninformed, and offend mature Christians. Even fans of the horror genre won’t like the movie’s poor quality of writing and quick-fix ending. Those who care about sacrilegious representations of Christians, the Roman Catholic Church, religion, and the undermining of God’s omnipotence by all-powerful demons will likely be offended. Finally, the fact that demonic evil is victorious, even over ordained Christian leaders, just adds to the abhorrent content in and nature of THE DEVIL INSIDE.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises Christian moviegoers to send a clear message to Hollywood that they want their faith honored instead of used for cheap exploitation. At least in the R-rated, foul-mouthed THE EXORCIST, the demon was ultimately defeated. MOVIEGUIDE® also advises Christian moviegoers to catch up on the leftover Christian holiday movies they haven’t seen yet if they really want to go to their favorite movie theater.