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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Devil Inside

June 12, 2012

A 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an “F” cinemascore guaranteed that I would watch this movie. It deserved all the internet vitriol, audience boos and twitter hate. However, it did make $20 million in its opening weekend and only cost $1 million.

This movie would make an interesting case study in marketing success. If you promote anything at the right time you will have yourself a hit film. However, so many internet savvy people watched it the opening weekend it cost the film dearly.  Because, afterwards the internet exploded with Devil Inside dislike. It was an interesting phenomena. The marketers fooled the audience and it cost the long-term success of the genre. Take for instance, the better reviewed Chernobyl Diaries did poorly at the box office due to fatigue.

I cheated a bit while watching this movie. I fast forwarded through all of the exorcism moments because they were unnecessary and exploitive. I could care less about a bunch of actors wrestling with an old woman with a deep voice.

The reason I watched this movie was to understand the badness. I figured it out in the first thirty seconds. The movie is supposed to resemble a found footage film but the acting is bad. It feels like people are acting and not being natural. A found footage movie hinges on the acting. Paranormal Activity worked because the two leads were natural. The Last Exorcism somewhat worked because of the strength of Cotton Marcus. Troll Hunter worked like gangbusters with its creativity and solid acting.

The Devil Inside is incredibly bad. The acting hurts, the plot wonky and the source material vague. When I say bad acting I mean that the actors cannot play natural. You can tell they are trying…They watched other films and copied them. Thus, it feels forced and not believable.

The movie is humorously promoted as “inspired by an actual story.” So, If I’m inspired by a football game and I write a dinosaur movie I can say it was inspired by an actual story. Also, they asked the Catholic Church for help. The church said no. So, now they promote how the Church wouldn’t help them.

This film made money however it hurt the genre. This is a great thing. It will force the creators to come up with creative endeavors that don’t exploit the movie going audience to make a few dollars.

The Devil Inside is a bad film that will do good things for the found footage genre. It will force creators to re-evaluate the audience and create interesting things that people will want to see.

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