The Devil Inside is a 2012 found footage horror film directed by William Brent Bell, revolving around a woman who gets involved in a series of exorcisms during her search to find out what happened to her mother, who murdered three people as a result of herself being possessed by a demon.
The film was initially written as a conventional thriller, but studio disinterest prompted a retooling into the found footage format, which led to it being picked up by Paramount in hopes of having a repeat of Paranormal Activity's success on their hands. While it saw uncharacteristically high profit levels for a horror film of its time ($101 million gross on a $1 million budget, partially because of a well-edited trailer attached to copies of Paranormal Activity 3), any further financial gain past its opening week alongside plans to continue the film's story were swiftly dashed. This can be attributed to its unanimous critical panning, primarily for an ending that has gained far more notoriety than the film has relevance.
Provides examples of:
- Advertised Extra: The nun who appears on the front of the alternate poster and DVD appears in one scene in the middle of the movie as a background character and has nothing to do with the possession.
- Artistic License – Religion: Virtually every claim made related to Catholicism is the opposite of how it's actually practiced. For example, the priests claim at one point that a possessee would not be repelled by inverted crosses, as they are blasphemous symbols — forgetting that an inverted cross is actually known as a "Petrine Cross", a holy symbol associated with Saint Peter (who apparently requested to be crucified upside-down, feeling himself unworthy to share Christ's death) and his successor, the Pope. At another point, they claim that it is important to recognize the identity and infernal rank of the demon, when the Catholic guidelines are to completely avoid playing into the demon's ego and simply treat it as "the Devil, an enemy of Christ".
- Asbestos-Free Cereal: The film's advertising made quite a big deal out of the Vatican allegedly being less than happy about its production and release. The sole quote on its DVD calls it "the film the Vatican doesn't want you to see" — you know, as opposed to all those other movies centered around demons and Satan that the Vatican's completely okay with.
- Badass Boast: "You know who I am."
- Camera Abuse: As par for the course with possession movies.
- Cat Scare: An Angry Guard Dog barks at the protagonist. Many a reviewer declare it's the scariest scene.
- Covers Always Lie: The poster image that used to adorn the Nuns Are Spooky page? Only a background character who stares at the camera during a montage.
- Demonic Possession: Happens to the mother and later David and Isabella, among others.
- Driven to Suicide: David kills himself after being demon possessed.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Happens to all the main characters in the ending.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Everyone who gets possessed starts talking gutturally.
- Found Footage: With the excuse of both security and documentary footage.
- Large Ham: Suzan Crowley as Maria Rossi, given Evil Is Hammy.
- Menstrual Menace: A possessed woman spews her menstrual blood at the camera.
- No Ending: One of the most infamous and thoroughly maligned examples in modern horror, if not modern film in general. At the end of what would be the second act of most films, right when the plot just seems to be setting up the third, all of the main characters abruptly die in a car crash and the film ends on a black screen that reads "The facts surrounding the Rossi case remain unresolved. Visit therossifiles.com for more information on the ongoing investigation." Reports of entire audiences breaking out in jeers and boos afterwards were far from uncommon; you can listen to one such example here.
- What's worse? The website had virtually zero tie-in material to the film, mostly limited to standard promotional material like character bios and ticket information. Adding insult to injury, the site was shut down shortly after the film's theatrical run.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The film began as one of the writers read about the Vatican offering an exorcism course. And the name Maria Rossi comes from a real killer as well. And all real facts stop here.
- Unexplained Accent: During one of the possession scenes, Maria starts speaking in an Irish accent.