|William Brent Bell director||previously directed Stay Alive|
A woman becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to her mother, whose exorcism turned violent and resulted in the murder of 3 people.
|William Brent Bell||writer|
|Fernanda Andrade||Isabella Rossi|
|Suzan Crowley||Maria Rossi|
|Evan Helmuth||David Keane|
|Simon Quarterman||Ben Rawlings|
|Ionut Grama||Michael Schaefer|
|Brian Johnson||Lieutenant Dreyfus|
|Preston James Hillier||Male Reporter|
|Maude Bonanni||Aunt Sorlini|
|See Full Credits|
After the phenomenal success of Paranormal Activity, Paramount decided to set up a fund specifically for micro-budgeted pictures that could, like that movie, bring huge profits due to costing basically nothing to make. Paramount recruited mostly untested filmmakers and gave them only $1 million to make the picture. After it was shot, Paramount spent as much money on marketing as they would for most wide release pictures. This number was likely even higher since they marketed it during the crowded Holiday season. However, it was not as big a deal since the production budget was so low.
The movie opens with a recording from a 911 call from many years ago. Maria Rossi called the police and confessed to murdering three people. A video then shows cops entering the house, looking at three brutally butchered corpses, and finding Maria hiding in a crawl space.
The film then time skips to 2009. Isabella Rossi, Maria's daughter, learned from her father before his death that her mother killed three people trying to exorcise her. Along with a friend named Michael Schaefer, she travels to Italy to learn about exorcisms and to visit her mother, who was transferred to a hospital for the criminally insane so she would be near the Vatican. Michael is video-taping the whole experience, and the tapes from this are how the movie is told from this point on. Apparently there was hopes of performing an exorcism on her there, but that never happened.
Isabella and Michael meet two priests named Ben Rawlings and David Keane. Ben is a certified exorcist; David is studying to be one. The two explain basic facts about possession.
Isabella and Michael go to the hospital to visit Maria, who Isabella had not seen since the murders. At first Maria is unresponsive, but she begins to babble in different accents and both Italian and English. She denies that she has a daughter, but shows Isabella that she has carved dozens of inverted crucifixes in her wrists and even one on her lower lip. Maria then says that Isabella displeased God by having an abortion. Isabella is shocked because Maria was never told of it, but Isabella really did have an abortion four years ago. Maria then bursts into a rage and tries to attack Isabella, but the doctors sedate her.
Isabella and Michael go back to Ben and David and show them the tapes. Ben and David reveal that the Catholic Church rarely authorizes exorcisms (and bans the filming of them) so they perform covert ones against the church's will. They say they think Maria might be possessed, but first Isabella should know what an exorcism is like and witness one.
Isabella and Michael go to a house where a young woman named Rosa is being cared by her mother because she is possessed. Ben and David exorcise her; before the demon leaves it addressed Isabella by name (which Rosa had not been told).
David is very hesitant about exorcising Maria because if word gets out he will be excommunicated. Ben and Isabella persuade him to do it. Along with Michael, the four visit Maria in the hospital and somehow legally strongarm the doctors into turning off their survellance cameras and letting them lock themselves in a room with Maria. They then (presumably illegally) sedate Maria and start questioning her. At first, she is confused and tired, but then multiple demons begin talking through her. The demons telekinetically throw the four around the room. One demon (speaking through Maria) says that Ben was glad when his beloved uncle died. Eventually, the four manage to get Maria back under control and possibly exorcise her.
The Vatican hears the doctor's theories that Ben and David were performing an illegal exorcism. A priest calls David and threatens to excommunicate him.
Michael goes to video-tape David perform a baptism. During the baptism, David attempts to drown an infant. The baby is saved, but David runs back to his apartment. It is now clear that one of the demons in Maria hopped into David's body.
David barges into the apartment, runs past Isabella and Ben, and begins assaulting himself in his room. Michael comes into the house, having followed him. Shortly after, police arrive. A policeman runs into the room with David, but is thrown out and says David took his gun. David then comes out of the room, but puts the gun in his mouth. Ben tells him to try praying, and David tries to recite the Lord's Prayer. Halfway through, he says "I forgot the words." The demon then takes full control of him and makes him shoot himself. The demon then hops into Isabella's body, causing her to have a seizure.
The police have paramedics take Isabella to the hospital. Ben and Michael follow the ambulence and run into the hospital. They beg the nurses to let them see Isabella, for they fear she will hurt them. The nurse refuses to let them in. There are then screams from the room with Isabella and everyone runs in. The nurses have all been knocked down and one had her jugular bitten out by Isabella. Michael and Ben sedate Isabella and, in the chaos, rush her out of the hospital in order to find a safe place to perform an exorcism. During a frantic car ride, mostly with the purpose of getting Isabella away from the police who she could likely kill or who could likely kill her, Ben tries to exorcise Isabella. The demon says--through Isabella--that Ben wanted his uncle to die. It then hops into Michael's body. Michael crashes the car. The movie ends.
The Devil Inside was loathed by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, out of 75 reviews, only 5 were positive (the site classes reviews only as either positive or negative). This gave the movie an abysmal 7%, which is "Rotten." On Metacritic, no reviews were positives, 5 were mixed, and 12 were negative. The movie got a rating of 18, which is Red (the lowest color) and "Universal Dislike" (the lowest category.
The Devil Inside was a box office hit. In the US, it opened to $33 million, which was double even the highest of predictions. Almost all horror movies have a large drops in attendence after the opening weekend, but The Devil Inside's was unusually bad. Still, it finished at over $50 million in the US when it had a production budget on only $1 million.
The film's success was cemented when it finished at a foreign total of over $48 million.
Trailer: The Devil Inside
A film about a possessed woman? What will you think of next, Hollywood! My monocle popped off, I was so surprised!
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