Directed by William Brent Bell. Starring Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Suzan Crowley and Evan Helmuth. 90 minutes. 18A
I’m not a huge fan of exorcism movies. They’re too formulaic and rely on a mythology that’s often too unbelievable. I couldn’t even remember this movie’s trailer before going into it. But after the lack of horror movies last year, I was going into withdrawl.
The Devil Inside follows Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) as she goes on her own investigation into what happened to her mother, Maria (Suzan Crowley), twenty years ago when she confessed to murdering three people during an exorcism. Maria’s now in a Catholic psychiatric hospital in Rome, after an unexplained transfer from the U.S. Isabella is convinced her mother is possessed and begins exploring exorcisms with the help of two priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth). I can’t say what happens next because unlike the trailer (which I thankfully didn’t remember at the time), I’m not going to spoil anything for you.
Whatever your expectations are about this movie, you’re probably right. This movie is exactly what you think it will be. If you love exorcism movies, you’ll probably love this one. If you hate them, then you’ll probably hate this one.
As far as scares go, it’s marginally above what you might expect. There are a few good moments, like when Maria unexpectedly bursts into a deafening screech during her daughter’s first visit to the hospital. Fear and suspense slowly escalates into jolting final scene. It’s clear that the film was trying to bring something new to the typical exorcism horror, which is commendable, but still, scares throughout could have a been amped even more.
Acting was also surprisingly somewhat convincing, particularly from priest Ben (Simon Quarterman) when things get tense. But nothing that you’ll remember for times to come.
If you’re considering seeing this one, skip the trailer. Instead, ask yourself what you think of exorcism movies. That’ll be your answer. C+