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'The Devil Inside': What the Critics Are Saying

The Devil Inside Fernanda Andrade Hospital - H 2012
Insurge Pictures

The film is scaring up good business at the box office, but reviews were not so kind to the low budget horror flick.

As the first new film of 2012, The Devil Inside is generating buzz around the web. The low budget horror pic is already exceeding box office expectations just hours into Friday evening, and could gross up to $20 Million in its opening weekend.
 
The film’s early success is surprising given the less-than-flattering reviews it has received from critics.  Among top critics, The Devil Inside earned a 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. With all critics, the film drops to just 8 percent.

FILM REVIEW: 'The Devil Inside'
 
The Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen writes that the film, “never gets off the ground, trotting out the same predictable twisting heads and psycho-babble without a whiff of originality or discernible visual flair.”
 
“As a result, the would-be thriller proves as scary and unsettling as a slab of devil’s food cake — only considerably less satisfying,” he continues. “Horror fans hungry for a demonic possession fix could initially take the bait, but subsequent word-of-mouth should mean that Paramount’s Insurge genre label won’t have a new Paranormal Activity on its hands.”

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Read below to see what other critics had to say about the demonic faux documentary.
 
Los Angeles Times: “The film is being released under Paramount’s low-budget Insurge Pictures banner, and its filmmakers apparently could not afford an ending. The story doesn't climax or resolve so much as just stop — a recruited audience member at a local premiere/critics preview was overheard saying, ‘That was it?’”

New York Times: “The true star of The Devil Inside, the latest addition to the fake, hand-shaky documentary horror subgenre, is a flexible little miss with the fabulous name Pixie Le Knot. That performer, whose name appears fairly low in the credits, surely deserves a higher berth, given the visceral impact her shoulder popping and back bending had on the audience I saw the movie with. The men around me all went, 'Ew' — me, I wanted to head straight to yoga class.”
 
Cinemablend: “There’s a reason most horror movies establish a clear premise not long into their run times. Directional momentum allows for the building of suspense, which makes the shocking moments that much more terrifying. The Devil Inside zigs and zags so many times at such a frenetic pace that it leaves the audience only enough time to react. That makes for an exciting movie but also one that feels a bit pointless and contrived at the end. Viewers need breaks in the action to understand and then re-evaluate. Without those pauses, it’s just a carnival ride. As carnival rides go though, I’ve been on far worse.”

Chicago Tribune: “The words, somber and undeniably true, hit the screen: 'The Vatican did not endorse this film nor aid in its completion.' No, the Holy See apparently is waiting to back an exorcism movie that's a little less hilariously lame.”
 
E! Online: “The devil is back for the umpteenth time to wreak havoc on shaky cams everywhere...It must be January at the multiplex. Aren't we tired of all these demon possession flicks yet? Well, sure and truthfully, most of it is tired, but this found footage flick has something new up it's heavily crucifixed sleeve, but to give that away would spoil the one genuinely scary part. For most of the running time this demon pic amps up the blurry shots and loud booming screams to signify well, not much.”

HitFix: "The Devil Inside is an insidious kind of terrible movie, a movie that is simply low-grade bad for most of its thankfully brief running time before offering up an ending so openly contemptuous of the audience as to feel like a prank.  Short version of this review:  nope.  Don't see it."

Screen Rant:  “The exorcisms in the film deliver some intriguing moments, but while there are definitely a number of jump scares throughout The Devil Inside, overall the ‘scariest’ points tend to be less ‘frightening’ and rely on expectation and tension more than in-your-face frights. The possibility of something terrible happening fuels most of the film’s best sequences – though, looking back, some horror fans may feel as though not a lot actually happens by the end of the various proceedings."