The Devil Inside is loosely based upon the experience of a woman who murdered three people in 1989 while allegedly possessed and undergoing an exorcist. The film intersperses actual footage from that traumatic occurrence -- such as the 911 call made by murderer Maria Rossi (portrayed in the film by Suzan Crowley) -- in an attempt to simultaneously underscore a sense of historical austerity and cash in on the contemporary voyeuristic value that is so popular in today's television. Confined to a mental institution in Rome that is assumed to be part of the Catholic Church, Maria spends the next 20 years or so mutilating her skin in both conspicuous and inconspicuous locations, leaving no doubts as to why she's there. The action heats up when her daughter Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) attempts to aid her mother by having another exorcism performed on her to restore her degenerate mind.
Doing so, of course, turns out to be a lot harder than expected for Isabella and the pair of priests (Evan Helmuth and Simon Quarterman) she recruits to aid her. There's other exorcisms to behold before they can get to poor Maria, so as to acquaint unsuspecting Isabella with the process as well as to drum up a few gratuitous scares -- or attempts, at least. Soon enough, Isabella and her pals are caught up in a whirlwind of multiple possessions, exorcisms, and rituals that combine both modern technology and conventional religious practices -- the best that science and faith can offer.
Although the film has been widely reviled for its questionable acting and an ending that makes the Blair Witch Project seem outright climactic, there are certain aspects of it that make it passable for a (late) night's entertainment. The special effects are featured prominently, with bodies flying wall-to-wall and horrific crunching sounds of bones being twisted out of place. Andrade, Helmuth and Quarterman are no slouches when it comes to screaming, as the high-paced action gives them plenty of opportunity to practice. Those looking for a thought-provoking flick with true suspense and a plot worthy of the name, however, had best keep looking. The Devil Inside is great for graphic images, eerie music, and sound effects that go from soft to blaring in a moment's time…all the standard horror film treats. Anyone asking for more than that, however, may be asking too much.