From Rachel Witherspoon in Menifee, CA
Since you did not have a review of "The Devil Inside," I thought I would email you mine.
When I saw the trailer for the first time I laughed as I knew that it would be a huge bust and I knew the end right away. The trailers give too much away nowadays. Especially for horror. Yes, give the masses the just, but never the key to which unlocks the ending.
However, despite my intuitive analysis I had to see it as I am a hopeful film production major and horror is my favorite genre.
Initially in terms of the ebbs and flows technically I predicted: "The Devil Inside will in its first act be so-so. Yet, towards the second and third it will have fallen apart with a disappointing end."
The beginning opens with Maria, calling police to her home as she claims she killed three people during her exorcism in the 1980's. From here we are witnessing the police's crime scene investigation video. Which was neither incredible nor pain stakingly boring. The police descend into the basement where all the action took place. Blood is all over the floor, a wooden chair where Maria was strapped in is broken at the arms. But where is Maria? The investigators look, no not that corner or that one. Then a growl and Maria appears suddenly. Fade out Maria is arrested, then sentenced to life in Centrino Mental Hospital in Rome.
Unfortunately, Maria left behind her daughter, Isabella. Cut 20 years later to Isabella who wants to know what happened to her mother. So she makes a documentary. This destroyed the film by being documentary style. Really? No crane shots, no dollies, no cherry pickers, no wild inserts, no interesting close ups? Just bullshit hand held documentary style that becomes painfully boring to watch as it limits your variety of angles.
So, yes Isabella goes to Rome to try to save her mother. During their first encounter became boring. The dialogue was insanely cliche and random screaming from the demon only goes so far. It scratches the surface of what demonic horror could be.
Maria's second and final exorcism should have been a crescendo of film technique (camera/lighting/sound/acting/editing/actor blocking/etc) into this powerful moment and turning point. As a visionary one has to understand that all the above elements have to sing in harmony all throughout a film, but especially during an exorcism scene because everything is at stake in those moments. You have to push the limits in layers of technique.
The exorcism scene was horrible... I felt incredibly disconnected to the moment nor did I care about the characters journeys. I was irritated because it could have been so rich with waves of intensity.. Finally crashing to the shore letting the audience go, gasping for air.
Largely it was uninspired... a carbon copy of Paranormal Activity.
Once it ended, credits rolling down the screen, the audience began booing the screen. Yelling, "That's it! I want my money back!"
I was mad at the director. I wanted to email him and say thank you for making a farce out of our genre. Thanks for lying to the public that this is art... that this is worthy of my money and the masses because it should have gone straight to DVD. Audiences deserve more, crews deserve more, and actors do. They deserve to see CINEMATIC ART/Make Art... not REDUNDANT BULLSHIT because Hollywood is AFRAID of original content to be progressive.
Despite what Hollywood thinks... Audiences are craving an original horror film that leaves them in awe.