The Devil Inside is barely a movie -- it certainly isn't good enough to be released into theaters. Apparently the boom of found-footage films means that junk like this can squeeze itself into release schedules without anyone noticing. Audiences should stay far away after hearing the deluge of negative reactions to it, both critically and from the midnight crowds reportedly booing the film on opening night. This is lazy filmmaking 101, in which the barest motifs of exorcism movies are boringly realized through a frenetic lens controlled by a shaky hand and a zoom-happy trigger finger. One thing is for sure: Since this is one of the first films of 2012, the year can only go up from here.
The non-action follows a young woman named Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) as she heads to the Vatican to visit her mother, whom the Catholic Church has been treating in their exorcism unit after she killed three people when Isabella was a child. Joining in the fun is a film crew of one -- Michael, who chronicles the journey of heading straight into the heart of the Church to find out once and for all whether demonic possession is real. Along the way, they join up with two exorcism students (yes, there's an exorcism school!) who pass along the ins and outs of ritually driving out evil spirits from a human body.
A number of creative choices bring down The Devil Inside -- the biggest being that it's dull and almost nothing happens in much of the film -- and when the plot occasionally does sputter to life, it isn't interesting or scary in the slightest. By the time the infamous cheapskate ending shows its ugly face, you realize that the filmmakers haven't really done anything with the material -- no character arcs, no mention of faith, nothing really besides the idea that a demon can jump to different people (which isn't a new concept). The entire picture fits the barest essentials of a story, which is fitting, since at the end the filmmakers try to make you visit a website to find out what happened next. Instead, skip the movie and visit a host of other websites that will reinforce how crummy this flick is. You and your wallet will be happy you did.