We entered the theatre last weekend with mixed emotions. We had all been looking forward to The Devil Inside since we first saw the trailer ages ago, no doubt watching something completely terrible. It looked like a combination of Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist, and we were sold. However, between now and then, the reviews started rolling in. Our expectations had been significantly lowered.
As for the positive: This was not as bad as we had been lead to believe. The “found” footage of the original crime scene was creepy, the story was interesting, the effects were gory, and the idea of rogue exorcists, performing rituals on people turned down by the Vatican was actually really cool. It kind of felt an extended episode of a really good episode of a ghost hunting show… which may actually be a negative depending on how you spend your sick days.
Also, an early scene in which the protagonist visits her possibly possessed mother was completely terrifying: the movie, for a fleeting five to ten minutes, actually managed to make you feel like anything could happen, and the audience collectively bit their lips while the decrepit, shredded, old woman whispered over and over “connectthecuts, connectthecuts.” Try whispering this to yourself in a dark room and see where it gets you.
Now, here’s where it gets ugly. Poor acting and the fact that it takes itself way too seriously aside (please, don’t try to convince us that the Vatican gave two shits about this), the major letdown was the ending. Like, so terrible it kind of erases all of the good (not great) things about this movie. People booed.
Like, stood up, and booed the screen.
So you’ve been warned.