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Movie Guy

January 11, 2012

Not enough ‘Devil Inside' year’s first horror flick

— For several years now, Hollywood has decided that we should kick off each new year with a low-budget horror flick. This time around we get “The Devil Inside,” and while I’m certainly not going to tell you that this is a good film in any way, I will admit that it does offers up enough scary treats that fans of horror movies will be happy. Well, they’ll be happy to have a horror film in theaters, even if it’s not a very good one.

The story begins in 1989, when a woman in Connecticut calls 9-1-1 to report that she has just killed two priests and a nun. The twist is that the murders happened in the middle of the woman’s failed exorcism. Flash forward ten years and the woman (Suzan Crowley) is now locked up in the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Rome. The woman’s daughter, Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) travels to Rome to find out the truth about what happened to her mother and whether insanity might run in the family.

Isabella teams up with two priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) who are investigating the shady area where they believe mental illness turns into actual demonic possession. They agree to help Isabella with her mother’s case, and as you have probably guessed by now, they run into demonic forces that are far beyond their abilities to control. Indeed, the film might more accurately be called, “The Devils Inside.”

There’s really nothing new to this story, other than the interesting kernel of an idea that the mentally ill might actually be possessed by the devil. I’m sure that social workers will be appalled by the premise, but horror fans should be happy that the film attempts to put a fresh spin on a very familiar storyline.

Unfortunately “The Devil Inside” doesn’t have anything new to add to the genre. Despite some okay performances by the unknown cast of actors, the film suffers from a lack of genuine scares and an over-reliance on that shaky camera, pseudo-documentary style of filmmaking that has long-past worn out its welcome in the cinema. Worst of all, the story ends so abruptly that you’ll wonder if the filmmakers simply ran out of money, leaving the audience mostly disappointed by this mediocre horror thriller.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

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