Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Devil Inside (2012) How Not To End A Film

I was warned.

People told me not to see last year's The Devil Inside.  "You'll be mad," they said.  "You'll hate the ending," they cautioned.  Did I listen?  Nope.  I was reckless.  I laughed in the face of movie-time-wasting and put the pedal to the metal.

Ah, yes, I was warned.

Let me say this right off the bat:  if you replace the very last moment of The Devil Inside with a good, solid ending - hey, even an ambiguous one - you'd have an honest-to-goodness decent film.  I wasn't angry at the film.  No, I don't get angry at films.  Unless they're Hardly Working.  Not angry, but disappointed.  The movie had my interest, then snatched it away like Charlie Brown's football.

Directed and co-written by William Brent Bell, The Devil Inside begins with a 911 recording and news footage of the aftermath of a triple homicide that involved the local clergy.  A dazed woman, Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) - the one who called 911 and admitted to the murders - is led out and eventually locked away in an asylum in Italy.  Years later, her daughter Isabella (Fernanda Andrade), enlists a documentary crew to help her reconnect with her mother and investigate allegations of demonic possession.

She meets two young priests, Father Ben (Simon Quarterman) and Father David (Evan Helmuth), who perform exorcisms on the side, and they promise to help her with her mother's little problem of too many tenants in her soul's apartment.  Needless to say, things don't really go as planned.  The entity inside of Maria is immensely powerful and doesn't stay confined to just one little place.  It's a real go-getter.  Well, there's a climactic scene at a hospital then in a car and then...

The ending.

I usually have a no-spoiler thing here but I don't think at this point I'm spoiling anything.  The movie ends by telling you to go to a website to find out more.

That's right.  Go to a website.  To find out more.

It's been called one of the worst endings ever.  Like I said, it's not that the movie itself - to me - was bad.  I was actually enjoying it, and that's where the disappointment lies.  The movie ends with the website and just walks out the door.

Ah, well.  You can't win 'em all.

Still, it was no Hardly Working.