The Devil Inside Tops Box Office, Despite Terrible Reviews
Like one of its onscreen ghouls, the trend of low-budget found-footage horror movies that stretches back to The Blair Witch Project and through Paranormal Activity isn’t quite dead yet. (Not to mention the exorcism movie genre that goes back to… well, you know.) Paramount’s latest attempt at a sleeper hit seems to have paid off with The Devil Inside, which knocked Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol out of the top spot at the box office this weekend, despite reviews that almost universally call the movie contrived and unscary.
The Devil Inside has earned just a 7% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many derided the faux “disclaimer” at the beginning, stating that the Vatican had not supported the film. (Sounds like someone is trying too hard to seem edgy.) The Washington Post says, “You can see where this is going, and the filmmakers can see that you can see,” resulting in a hurried ending that satisfied nobody. The Boston Globe describes people booing at the anti-climax, which seemed to be the same reaction in Austin, Chicago, and New York.
The movie tells the story of Isabella (Fernanda Andrade), whose mother Maria (Suzan Crowley) has been in an Italian asylum since murdering three people years earlier during an exorcism. Isabella is afraid that she might have inherited the crazies, and jets off to see Mommy Dearest in Rome, with a cameraman in tow to make a documentary. While there, she meets two young priests who do exorcisms. They want to try on Maria, but just one problem- demons have a habit of leaping into nearby bodies, which seems to lead to some unsurprising “plot twists.”
If anyone wins from this, it’s Pixie Le Knot, the awesomely named contortionist who provides the movie with some of its few gross-out shocks, and earns some if its only praise.
Another winner: Paramount. The movie cost them a little more than $1 million to buy and market- and it raked in $16.9 million in domestic box office this weekend alone. So expect to see The Devil Inside II out any day now.
Did you see the film? What did you think?