It's always going to be hard to make an 'exorcist' film, you have a massive history to try and compete against. This is true in many genres but usually there's some sort of twist on plot or other angle you can take, however 'The Devil Inside' focuses purely on Exorcism and in my opinion just doesn't cut it for me.
Found footage films are always up against it, as stated in other reviews they really are love or hate, the main problem being is what you are going to show in the actual footage has to be pretty damn powerful to hold any kind of weight and I just felt this let me down.
The film starts by showing us footage of a 'Maria Rossi' who whilst having her own exorcism killed three people in her home. She was deemed insane on her trial and placed in a Catholic psychiatric hospital in Rome.
Twenty years later her daughter 'Isabella' travels to Rome whilst filming a documentary on exorcisms to try and shine some light on the horror of her past. She visits a school in Rome where their expertise is exorcisms. She is taken in by two priests that try to help her. She finds out that the two priests 'Ben' and 'David' are, against the authority of the clergy, taking out exorcisms on people at their own will to try and rescue them from the devil. They tell Isabella that the only way she can understand about what they are doing is to show her. They take her to an exorcism which turns out to be pretty freaky but nowhere near as impactful as what I thought it would be. In the end Ben and David seem to rescue the girl in a successful exorcism.
Isabella visits her mother in the asylum, only to find that she carves inverted crosses in to her arms and lips and speaks in different accents, she also knows more about Isabella then she possibly could. She shows the footage of the visit to Ben and David who are adamant she is possessed. They visit Maria and carry out their own analysis/exorcism on her against the will of the clergy. It seems to be a success until David starts showing signs that all is not well.
In a nutshell they waffle on about "Transferable possession" where basically it can jump from one person to the other. So in effect it jumps from Maria to David and then finally when David takes his own life to Isabella herself.
In all honesty I didn't find the plot a problem, yes its fairly linear but not a complete disaster. My problems come with dialog, scares, atmosphere and execution. At times I found the dialog to be hideously cliché and poorly executed, there was too much waffle and I found the 'investigation/sat around chatting parts" boring! Scares were fairly average and I almost hoped for something just to jump in front of the camera and scream to wake me up! Atmosphere was good in the first exorcism, a dark dingy basement where light couldn't get in. Perfect! Then the majority of the remainder was shot in well lit hospitals (apart from when David becomes possessed in the house).
There were a few gore scenes and the usual contortion specials thrown in for good measure, the effects used were fairly solid although not nearly frequent enough or extreme enough. Disappointing considering its $1 million budget. If my negatives weren't enough 'The Devil Inside' has one of the biggest cliff-hanger endings I've ever seen. It's very ballsy and personally it doesn't bother me, however I think in this particular film I don't think it worked, at all.
Overall 'The Devil Inside' I cannot recommend. I've been lucky when it has come to horror at the cinema of late, "Insidious" and "The Woman in Black" being stand outs and I was hoping to carry on my run. I left the cinema fairly disappointed and wished that it could have been better. However the boring script and dialog coupled with the lack of scares really hindered the efforts of this film. If you're after a solid 'Exorcist' style film watch the daddy itself or "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", they deliver something which this doesn't, quality.