Indeed, the first thing I'd like to tell you about The Devil Inside, which opens tomorrow (or, if you're reading this on Friday, be aware that the film opens today; really, it's irrelevant, because I'm about to beg you not to see it), is this: when the film reached its "conclusion"-- and, oh, how I use that term as loosely as possible-- the audience in the screening I attended audibly turned against the film.
People moaned in exasperation. A few people shouted out the full version of the WTF acronym. As we filed out, I was surrounded by people shaking their heads in disbelief, saying things like, "I'm gonna tell everyone I know not to see this piece of sh-t".
Whoo-boy. I'm torn. On the one hand, there's a good chance your audience will revolt when The Devil Inside reaches its total non-ending, and seeing such a revolt is something every film fan should experience at least once in their movie-going lifetime. On the other hand, I can't possibly recommend that you pay money-- real dollars-- to see The Devil Inside. That crosses the line from "irresponsible critic" to "complicit in the crimes being committed".
The second thing you need to know about The Devil Inside is this: the film actually gets a few things right. There are at least three moments in the film that I considered "original" (or, at the very least, "ballsy"), spots that were so well-handled and effective that they were flat-out shocking when they occurred. For instance: when you've got ten-fifteen minutes stretches where absolutely nothing of interest is happening and then-- suddenly-- BAM, someone's menstruating on-camera (something I don't recall seeing in, say, last week's We Bought a Zoo ), it can be a tad jarring...but not necessarily in a bad way.
And, finally, there's this other thing I'd like you to know about The Devil Inside: it's terrible. That should've been obvious by the two preceding things I've told you here today, but on the off chance that I wasn't perfectly clear, I figured we oughtta just spell it out.
The Devil Inside is being marketed much in the same way that The Last Exorcism (and, oh man, if you didn't like that, you'll have an aneurysm when you see the way this one ends) and Paranormal Activity 3 were marketed, which might very well convince you that the film's worth giving a shot to. After all, those films were...well, not "good" per se, but certainly not amongst the worst films you've ever seen (at least, I didn't think they were that bad).
The Devil Inside is not cut from the same mediocre/passable cloth that those films were. It is wholly incompetent, veering between scenes of utter tedium, scenes where people rattle off laughably bad dialogue, and-- incredibly infrequently-- those three, aforementioned moments where the film gets things right. And then, just when you think the film is about to take a serious turn onto "Gory Fun Boulevard", it ends.
Suddenly, without warning, and--quite insultingly-- with a screen telling you to go to a website if you'd like to know more.
Don't go see The Devil Inside ironically, hoping to find a few cool moments amongst 90-minutes' worth of snarky laughter. Don't go see The Devil Inside hoping for an improvement on the supernaturally religious themes and found-footage aesthetic presented in The Last Exorcism. Don't go see The Devil Inside on a matinee, thinking that there are probably worse ways you could waste your money and time (there aren't, and I've sat here trying to think of some). Don't even rent The Devil Inside when it hits DVD, long after the mobs of angry audience members have calmed down and stopped complaining about the film's ending.
You will loathe yourself if you do.