×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Devil Inside

Despite the palpable air of deja vu that hangs over it like a light fog, "The Devil Inside" generates a fair amount of suspense during sizable swaths of its familiar but serviceable exorcism-centric scenario.

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

Despite the palpable air of deja vu that hangs over it like a light fog, “The Devil Inside” generates a fair amount of suspense during sizable swaths of its familiar but serviceable exorcism-centric scenario. Pic works best during its first half as helmer William Brent Bell gives his low-budget, high-concept suspenser the look and feel of a cable TV doc (think “MSNBC Investigates,” only creepier). But there’s a marked downtick in verisimilitude as the faux documentary gradually devolves into found-footage gimmickry. Pic’s $34.5 opening weekend shows moviegoers are ready for a scare, particularly from the first wide-release of the year.

Working from a script he co-wrote with co-producer Matthew Peterman, Bell kicks off with an effective mix of ersatz newscasts and crime-scene video as Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley), a deeply troubled and perhaps demonically possessed housewife and mom, is arrested, tried and ultimately institutionalized after brutally slaying three would-be exorcists in 1989.

Flash-forward to 2009, and Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade), Maria’s grown-up daughter, is determined to discover just what the hell happened to her mother — and why, for reasons no one wants to explain, Maria was spirited away to a mental hospital across the ocean near Vatican City.

Accompanied by documentarian Michael Schaefer (Ionut Grama), who provides the p.o.v. for most of the pic, Isabella travels to Italy in the hope of reconnecting with her mom and, just as important, getting a crash course at what’s described as the Vatican School of Exorcism. Two medically trained priests (Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth) offer to accelerate Isabella’s learning curve by allowing her and Michael to accompany them when — in the pic’s most potent sequence — they cast demons from a tormented young woman (Bonnie Morgan). But when the priests attempt a similar cleansing of Maria, they learn the hard way that the devil is in the details. And, sometimes, in the exorcists.

Moodily lensed on Italian and Romanian locations by Gonzalo Amat, “The Devil Inside” benefits from persuasive performances by its lead players (Quarterman and Helmuth are particularly impressive) and special effects that are all the more striking for being used so sparingly. Overall storytelling is adroitly fleet and economical; so economical, in fact, that the pic clocks in at 83 minutes only because of the slowest final credits roll in recent memory.

The Devil Inside

Production: A Paramount release of an Insurge Pictures presentation of a Prototype production. Produced by Matthew Peterman, Morris Paulson. Executive producers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Steven Schneider, Mark Vahradian, Erik Howsam. Directed by William Brent Bell. Screenplay, Bell, Matthew Peterman.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Gonzalo Amat; editors, Timothy Mirkovich, Bell; music, Brett Detar, Ben Romans; production designer, Tony Demille; set decorator, Marius Bardasan; costume designer, Terri Prescott; sound (Dolby Digital/Datasat/SDDS), Cristea Mirel; special effects makeup, Leigh Hudgens; visual effects, Skulley Effects; assistant director, Adirana Itu; casting, Kelly Wagner, Dominika Posseren. Reviewed at Cinemark Memorial City, Houston, Jan. 5, 2012. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 83 MIN.

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

More Film

  • Black Panther Movie

    Oscars: 'Black Panther' Leads Best Picture Nominees to Near-Record Box Office Grosses

    This year’s Academy Award nominees proved the Oscars don’t need a popular film category to recognize movies with huge box office grosses. The 2019 crop of best picture hopefuls have generated an impressive $1.26 billion so far in North America alone. That bounty is led by “Black Panther,” which earned a sensational $700 million at [...]

  • oscar nominations 2019 stream online

    How to Watch This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Films

    The 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced, and if you want to catch up on the nominees, we’ve rounded up some easy ways to watch or stream the original films, documentaries, and songs competing for an award. Period comedy “The Favourite” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece, while “Green Book” [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Makes History for Poland

    Alfonso Cuaron might’ve tied an Oscar record with four nods to his name for “Roma,” which scored 10 nominations overall. But another black-and-white film in a foreign language, Pawel Pawlikowski’s jazz-infused romantic drama “Cold War,” was honored with three Academy Award nominations Tuesday, the most in history for a primarily Polish-backed production. The film will [...]

  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

    U.K. Cinema Attendance in 2018 Was Highest Since 1970

    Cinema attendance in the U.K. topped 177 million in 2018, the highest number since 1970. Box office held firm at £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) through the year as 10 movies crossed the £30 million threshold in the year. That compares with six films in 2017. After a sweltering summer in the U.K. and a strong [...]

  • ASIB Roma Black Panther

    Vote: Which Movie Should Win the Oscar for Best Picture?

    The 91st Oscar nominations were unveiled on Tuesday with “Roma” and “The Favourite” leading the way with 10 nods each. “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron’s love-letter to his childhood nanny, is Netflix’s first-ever best picture nomination and could make history as the first foreign-language movie to ever win the top prize at the Academy Awards. Other best [...]

  • Göteborg TV Drama Vision Expects 60

    TV Drama Vision Set to Take Pulse of Nordic Commissioners’ Wish List

    More than 360 international delegates are expected at Göteborg’s 13th Nordic TV Drama Vision (Jan. 30-31) described by head of industry Cia Edström as a ‘boutique event’, where top Nordic and international drama professionals gather each year to gauge the state of the Nordic market and hot content. For the first time, to comply with the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content