Directed by: William Brent Bell
Produced by: Matthew Peterman
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Screenplay by: William Brent Bell
Starring: Fernanda Andrade
Music by: Brett Deter
Cinematography by: Gonzalo Amat
Editing by: Timothy Mirkovich
William Brent Bell
Studio(s): Insurge Pictures
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release date(s): January 6, 2012 (United States)
March 16, 2012 (United Kingdom)
Running time: 80 minutes
Country: United States
Production budget: $1 million
Box office revenue: $101, 386, 096
Rightio, folks. I've taken a couple of days off there, and low and behold, am now debilitated with the flu. Maybe it's karma for some misdeeds perpetrated in my past life (I found out in a ouija board session I was once a child-eating witch by the name of Madam Cycle Curl)(note: don't believe everything you read), or that's my body's way of telling me to keep at my film reviews. So, for updates on the machinations of the activities of my ritualism, and the odd film reviews, keep your eyes posted!
Today's movie up for digestion (or perhaps regurgitation) is The Devil Inside. This film, which came out at the very start of 2012, has developed quite a bit of a reputation. No preview screening was held for the press (which is usually an indication that the movie is terrible), and after one week at the top of the US box-office, it fell sharply and ended up outside of the box-office top ten. Since then, reception has been nearly universally negative, and as such, being a horror movie fan, felt this would be a movie that would at least provoke some engaging discussion. Being of the found footage genre of horror films, a tradition that goes all the way back to Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust, to more recent contemporary's such as The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and the financially successful Paranormal Activity films, The Devil Inside is shot in a documentary film style. The niche of this, over the slew of found footage films we get every year, is demonic possession. Brief plot synopsis, Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) decides to film her endeavours in trying to discover what happened to her mother, who murdered three people as a result of being purportedly possessed by a demon. End of, that's all you need, that's all you're gonna get, 'kay? Right, let's dance (put on the red shoes and dance the blues)!
So the good about The Devil Inside? Well, I've got to compliment a couple of things. Demonic possession and things of the macabre are of interest to me, and some of the early scenes of the priests discussing religion and studying exorcism are interesting. Also, there's one scene that did horrify me later on in the film. It's all done in one long take, and I personally thought it was the one part of the movie that worked properly well. That said, it does tick my easy check-box in terms of things that repulse me by default: anything with eyes, teeth, animal cruelty and babies in peril will be guaranteed get a rise out of me. Furthermore, as A Serbian Film proved, one really scary scene does not make a really scary film.
That's all I can say in favour of The Devil Inside, because, frankly, it's one of those cases that makes me question how the hell such an abominable film was ever to get a theatrical release. There are so many things wrong with this film, and while I may go off on a bit of a tirade, I'll try my earnest to keep focused on the task at hand. At the centre of this mess is a script that manages to be incredibly uninventive, badly structured and features dialogue that sounds like it was taken from a phonebook. I am genuinely dumbfounded that a movie like this was released. Around this script, we get our actors hamming up their lines with this sense of self-importance that just makes an utter monkey out of everyone involved. Technically, it is badly shot, with that troublesome digital video look that seems to negate the lighting and shroud the set in a sickly green/grey tone that makes everything look like a splurging blob. Also, what the film needed was a vigilant editor who locked himself in the suite and chopped this down to a three-to-five minute short film. I guarantee if that one scene I mentioned made it to YouTube it would an overnight Internet sensation of more legitimacy and worth than this monstrously bad film. There's absolutely no sense of quality control here. Predictably, I thought the music was crap, but I don't want to linger on that and want to get to the main culprit, writer-director-producers William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman. There is such a thing as a difference of opinion, but I find it hard to believe that these two would have thought in their right minds that this was a good film. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is the executive on hand here, but we can't blame him because we known that di Bonaventura would probably release videos on bestiality if it made a quick buck. No, Brent Bell and Peterman have been with this film every step of the way, and I wonder at what point (if there was a point) did the lightbulb go off and they both realise how bad this film was. It didn't stop them releasing the movie, and it certainly didn't stop it from making money, which is another one of cinema's great anomaly's whenever great pictures like Dredd fail to make back their budget.
The Devil Inside has one particularly good scene, which I guarantee if uploaded to YouTube without all the padding would be an Internet sensation. However, the only thing sensational about The Devil Inside is just how sensationally bad and heartless the film is. I am sick at present, so that may account for how dull this review is, but I am lost for words as to just how this wretched swine got released. I like to have a faith in humanity, but this is one of those cases in which your faith in challenged by just how everyone involved compromised their pride. How no one involved ended up doing to the press show tour bemoaning how bad the film is is beyond me. I try not to use obscenity's in my reviews, but the only thing that comes to mind with something like this is Bill Hick's 'Sucker's Of Satan's Cock' sketch. It has no dignity whatsoever; I mean this is eighty minutes long in total and has a ten-minute credit sequence. Twilight can get away with it, but this has the most slow-dragging credits I have ever seen, and along with the ridiculous plug for a website that begins it, goes to show that the filmmakers could not be bothered to give the movie an ending. It's not the worst movie of the year, but I really hated The Devil Inside!
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 1.3/10
The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - In a wretched state (I feel almost as bad as this movie with this bloody bug I've got!)
P.S. Any time you see a 'Inspired By True Events,' you can near enough assume it's complete balderdash!
P.P.S. Did anyone who saw this movie actually like it?