-->''"Remember this, Hobbes... what goes around, ''really'' goes around."''

Police detective John Hobbes (Creator/DenzelWashington), gains notoriety for capturing wily serial killer Edgar Reese. Immediately after Reese is executed, Hobbes is plunged into the case of another murderer who seems to be copycatting Reese with scary attention to detail.

However Hobbes's investigation soon leads him to discover that this is no mere copycat, as somehow Reese, or at least the evil that was inside him, has managed to survive the execution. Worse still, the demon is able to jump from one host to another, allowing it to kill at will and to terrorize Hobbes himself.

As the {{battle of wits}} between good and evil becomes increasingly personal for Hobbes, he must turn to a theologian's theories on demonology as his only hope for defeating this ancient evil.

Not to be confused with the Miniseries starring Paul Wesley and BryanCranston

'''This movie depends on a major TwistEnding. Proceed with caution.'''

* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Hobbes's ''only'' victories were that he prevented Azazel from killing his nephew and that he helped Gretta uncover some info that her allies could use in future battles with the demons. Outside of that, Azazel did exactly what he claimed he would do at the beginning of the movie.]]
** [[spoiler:Scaring the hell out of an immortal demon should count as at least a partial victory.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: When Hobbes has to figure out which his co-workers Azazel is possessing, it turns out to be [[spoiler:his likable partner Jonsey instead of his aloof, JerkAss superior officer.]]
* BrickJoke: A particularly dark example: [[spoiler:"Forgot something, didn't you? At the beginning, I said I'd tell you about the time I ''almost'' died..."]]
* TheCape: Hobbes, so much so that Azazel can't possess him by touch and gets [[StalkerWithoutACrush fixated]] on [[BreakTheCutie destroying him]] [[KillTheCutie as thoroughly as possible]] as a result.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Hobbes' nephew Sam, [[spoiler:when he's not possessed by Azazel]].
* ClearMyName
* CriminalMindGames
* CyanidePill: [[spoiler:Poisoned cigarettes.]]
* DemonicPossession: The whole plot. Although not stated, it may be implied that believers can resist demonic possession (at least in most cases). It's said that strong-willed minds can resist demonic possession by touch, but not where the demon is loosed from their last host and within "five hundred cubits," or about a sixth of a mile.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:"Forgot something, didn't you?"]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Robert Milano. [[spoiler:This is also essentially what Hobbes does after [[DespairEventHorizon his brother is killed by Azazel]].]]
* DyingCurse: Before his jaunt to the gas chamber, Reeves gives one to a mildly unsettled Hobbes. [[NamesToRunAwayFrom/AncientDeadLanguages In Syrian-Aramic.]]
-->'''Reeves/Azazel:''' I can't get inside you by touch, but even when I can, when I'm spirit, I won't. No. Better I get you for real. I'll fuck you up, down, left, right, coming, going. I'll get so close to you, so close it breaks you. And if that doesn't work, I have other ways. I have so many, many ways.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: AKA the "Fall of Babylon", stated to be the goal of all demons. By possessing humans they further evil in the world and get closer to it.
* FallenAngel
* FauxAffablyEvil: Azazel, again!
* ForTheEvulz: What Azazel does to Hobbes is simply for fiendish sadism.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: [[spoiler:Azazel is revealed to be the narrator of the story. Just before the movie ends, he tells the audience "See you around," and then we get an image of many people in New York walking in the streets, implying that Azazel is out there somewhere in our world again and has kept on possessing human beings.]]
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Hobbes himself at the end.]]
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: We never see Azazel's true form except the human host he possesses, though it may not even be visible to humans otherwise.
* HowWeGotHere: "I wanna tell you about the time I almost died.... "
* ImpendingDoomPOV: Azazel's yellow-washed P.O.V. as a spirit.
* ImpliedLoveInterest: Gretta.
* InspectorJavert: Lietutenant Stanton ends up becoming this when the evidence starts stacking up against Hobbes.
* IronicEcho: Hobbes throws Azazel's taunts right back in his face at the end of the movie, from "Open your eyes, look around sometimes," [[spoiler:to smoking cigarettes laced with the poison he killed Hobbes' brother with]], to singing "Time is on My Side".
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:By the end of the film, Hobbes himself, Jonesy and Stanton were dead.]]
* LargeHam: Azazel expecially when possessing Reese [[spoiler: and Jonesy.]]
* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: Edgar Reeves' execution. It launches the whole damn movie!
* NarratorAllAlong: [[spoiler:Azazel, the demon possessing everyone, is actually the one talking and this is revealed at the end. He's using Hobbes' voice because this is the last human we see possessed.]]
* NighInvulnerable: Azazel is a body-possession spirit, so attacking him directly will only kill the host. [[spoiler:Hobbes figures out that he can be destroyed if there are no more humans in the vicinity for Azazel to possess if his current host wears out. What Hobbes didn't know is that Azazel can possess animals as well, and quickly takes over a cat at the end to escape.]]
* TheNthDoctor: Azazel's hosts.
* OneOfTheKids: Innocent, childish Art, who is implied to be mentally handicapped.
* OutGambitted: [[spoiler:At the end, Hobbes lures two fellow cops, of which one is possessed by Azazel, into the woods to a secluded cabin. When the demon-possessed cop kills the other man, Hobbes shoots him, but Azazel is going to possess him next. Hobbes is smoking, and reveals his cigarettes are laced with cyanide. Since the demon is only destroyed if there are no hosts left to possess-which he can do even to normally resistant strong-willed people within about 880 feet-the Xanatos Gambit appears to pay off, Azazel will have no place to go except in his dying body. However, the narrator is revealed to be Azazel himself, who reflects how at first he believed ''himself'' to be OutGambitted, but chuckles on seeing a cat near the cabin, saying "Ah, ah, you forgot something, didn't you? See you around, Hobbes." Crowd scenes are then shown, with the implication that Azazel possessed the cat, got it near someone else and hopped bodies from there, going free. Earlier, another cop had committed suicide at the cabin, implying his attempt to pull off the same Xanatos Gambit to similar results. The Rolling Stones' hit Sympathy For The Devil plays over the credits.]]
* PromotionToParent: Hobbes takes care of his brother, Art, and his nephew, Sam. [[spoiler:Gretta becomes newly orphaned Sam's caretaker when they go on the run.]]
* {{Reasonable Authority Figure}}s: A whole police station full of 'em.
* SaltAndPepper: Hobbes and Jonesy.
* SenselessSacrifice: [[spoiler:Hobbes commits one in the end.]]
* SerialKiller: Something of a theme for the director, seeing as how he also helmed ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' and ''Film/{{Untraceable}}''.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:The movie ends with Azazel himself making it out alive in a cat by Hobbes' cabin, and the protagonist himself dead in the end, after a failed attempt of TakingYouWithMe.]]
* SmugSnake: Azazel views Hobbes as more of a fun diversion than an actual threat, and seems to think that he's free to antagonize Hobbes as much as he wants because there's no way Hobbes would figure out what's going on, much less learn his weakness. [[spoiler:He later realizes just how wrong he was when Hobbes ''almost'' kills him at the end.]]
* SoundtrackDissonance:
** You'll never hear "Time Is On My Side" quite the same way again.
** A less-noticeable example is the cheerful ''WarioLand'' music playing in the background right as Hobbes realizes [[spoiler: what's happened to his brother]].
* SpannerInTheWorks: [[spoiler:A cat. Implied to have done it multiple times.]]
* StalkerWithoutACrush: Azazel to Hobbes.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: [[spoiler:Art winds up murdered in his bed for his brother, John, to find in the morning.]]
* SuicideByCop: With a twist. [[spoiler:Azazel possesses a random man on the street, who steals the gun hidden nearby and draws down on Hobbes, who is forced into killing him. The demon then possesses a nearby woman, explaining he can possess anyone within 500 cubits, or about a sixth of a mile (880 feet), if suddenly loosed from his last host. Using this woman Azazel then smears Hobbes, saying he killed the last host without provocation, and the man had no reason to commit suicide by cop, plus the gun only had blanks in it, so the media buys it. Hobbes thus gets suspended, removing him from hunting down the demon.]]
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:A tried-and-failed attempt.]]
* TermsOfEndangerment: For the record, I don't think Hobbes actually considers himself Azazel's "pal".
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: [[spoiler:Art. Hobbes is a literal case, as Azazel targets him specifically for his moral strength.]]
* TraumaCongaLine: Poor Hobbes: his whole life is systematically dismantled by Azazel. Apparently, this is what the demon likes to do to people who are particularly [[IncorruptiblePurePureness good]], as he's been implied to have done it before, repeatedly.
-->'''Hobbes:''' You leave my family alone.
-->'''Azazel:''' But I'm still having fun! Aren't ''you'' still having fun?
* VideoWills: A camera crew records Edgar Reeves before his execution. At one point in the footage, Reeves addresses Hobbes (who is watching it days after Reeves' death) directly.
-->"[[spoiler:Can you imagine what it feels like to be alive for thousands of years, and then realize you're actually going to die, 'cause some self-righteous cop decided that he was going to save the fucking world?]]"
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:When he learns that Hobbes has trapped him to die, Azazel throws a pleasingly cathartic one when he starts cussing Hobbes out like a mad twelve-year-old and crawling around to find a new person to possess before his spirit dies.]]
* WronglyAccused: [[spoiler:Azazel frames Hobbes (and in the past, Gretta's father) for his own crimes, and tricks him into killing his own host in broad daylight to get him charged with murder.]]