Published Thursday, 22 March 2012
We have all seen bad films and maybe even enjoyed one or two for all the wrong reasons; you know, laughed instead of cried and cried instead of laughed. There are even some films that are so bad they're great! (Check out the terribly brilliant Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze)
But then there are films that are just simply dreadful. Films that should never have been made. Films that should never be seen. Films like The Devil Inside.
Written and directed (and I use those terms in their loosest possible definition) by William Brent Bell, The Devil Inside is from that most annoying of movie genres - the dreaded 'found footage'. Yes, this is not fiction, this is fact and we have the 'real' footage to prove it!
The contorted plot of this 'real' story follows a young American, Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) who sets off to Rome in a quest to find her tormented mother, who is locked up in a mental asylum. Twenty years before Maria Rossi brutally murdered two priests and a nun during her own exorcism. But after all these years does she still have 'the devil inside'?
Obviously, be warned the following trailer may contain some disturbing scenes.
Thankfully, although not for us, Isabella is accompanied by a documentary filmmaker Michael (Ionut Grama), who records all the sordid and horrendous goings-on right up until the predictable end of this repulsive film.
The 'found footage' genre can be box office gold; the Blair Witch Project back in 1999 was made for $60,000 and grossed more than $250 million worldwide! And in recent years the 'found footage' of Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3 have all been major successes.
The problem is, even at their very best, the found footage genre do not make great films. And at their worst, like The Devil Inside they are simply dreadful.
The most frightening thing about The Devil Inside is the appalling camerawork of so called documentary maker Michael, who in his shocking attempt to make this experience 'real' renders the film unwatchable. Never has any film ever released in the cinema contained such pathetic cinematography, capped off with the most annoying use of the zoom.
And in a wretched attempt to make this contrivance 'real', they resort to endless shaking of the camera. (You would love to shake them!) The only possession I was looking for in this devilish drivel was the possession of any kind of filmmaking talent.
Worse still are the cast who, remember are not supposed to be actors but 'real' people in a documentary. Their performances are so morose that pulses would need to be taken to prove that these dead wood performers are even alive!
At a mere 83 minutes The Devil Inside barely crawls over the running time as a feature film which includes incredibly lengthy and monotonous end credits on the slowest roller in cinema history.
This of course is a blessing as this claptrap quickly wraps up before the audience starts walking out.
Horror films are supposed to frighten the life out of you, chill, thrill and spill you out of the cinema in a terrified state. However, at the end of this shock-u-mentary, the youthful audience I watched it with left with howls of laughter and in fits of giggles.
My only hope after this cinematic car crash, is that all 'found footage' is returned to the hopeless bin from whence it came. But sadly with the box office booming, there will be more of these brainless demonic films to follow.
The Devil Inside (Cert 15) is now on general release.