In the same way that exorcists in pretty much every exorcism film begin by making the demon possessing the unfortunate victim reveal its true name, I will start my review of The Devil In Me by forcing it to uncover its real identity – under its original title Devil’s Seed.
Why the name change you may ask? Well, why does the devil hide under so many guises if not to confuse the innocent and lure them into temptation?
The temptation here is for you to perhaps mistake The Devil In Me for the recently release The Devil Inside, or for that matter any number of other higher budget, wider known movies which have a similar sounding title, vaguely familiar box and that deal with the very same subject.
That subject is the ever popular ‘possession’ genre which is currently battling it out with zombies as the number one theme in recent years for horror films.
The devil is a greedy beast and after the superb success of Paranormal Activity and the like its no wonder that a whole holy host of possession horrors have flooded our screens, much like a deluge of demons inhabiting some poor, innocent, pea soup spewing child. And The Devil In Me is the latest offering in the long line of movies dedicated to Beelzebub himself.
Opening with the obligatory flashback to an exorcism gone wrong some time on the 1940’s, we are taken forward to the same house, now inhabited by a trio of late teen ladies partial to wandering around in short, tight clothes whilst sometimes attending college.
Lead babe of the bunch is Alexandra (Michelle Argyris), a nice girl with a not so nice boyfriend who is doing the dirty behind her back with her bitch of a housemate.
On a night out with her other flatmate and friend they drunkenly decide to get a psychic reading which shakes the pair up, especially as the foreboding warnings of death and doom all revolve around Alex.
From that point on things get worse and worse as an evil force begins to invade first Alex’s home, then her body, terrifying her and her housemates. Bruised and bitten, menaced and molested, Alex is at risk of losing her mind and her soul unless someone can help. But will anyone believe her before the devil in her takes over?
The Devil In Me is a greatest hits compilation of possession films, running through the entire cannon (except creepy contortion strangely) of demon movie scenes and scares, clichés and conventions.
Taking from almost every demon movie out there from The Exorcist to The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Demon Seed to Drag Me to Hell, we are treated to every trick and terror expected. From swearing to scary midnight staring, scratches and clawing, to invisible sex attacks, levitation and blasphemous banter – all with almost no originality or innovation.
There is some okay acting and the effects are reasonable to well done throughout. But the lack of imagination is frustrating and as the plot is so predictable that the scares are drastically minimised by their inevitability.
There is still life in the possession genre, as proven by movies such as The Shrine or REC which offered a new twisted twist on the demon genre. But it is safe to say no such creativity is to be found in The Devil In Me.
If The Devil In Me is a ‘best of’ compilation of possession movies, then it’s sadly like the best of CD’s you buy in service stations on holiday, when you’re sick of the other music in your car, the local radio sucks and there is no connection for your iPod. Although all the famous songs are there, they don’t seem to be by the right artist, leaving you frustrated and disappointed, a tenner out of pocket and yearning to hear the originals.
Save yourself the time and trepidation, take my advice and re-watch The Exorcist instead.