Jun 282012

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The Devil In Me (2012) (aka Devil Seed)
Directed by Greg A. Sager
Certificate 18

The Exorcist meets The Entity in this contemporary possession horror from Lionsgate.

College student Alexandra moves into a new house with best friend Jessica and her bitchy housemate, Bree. After a night out clubbing, Alex and Jess drunkenly decide to have a reading by a mystic which results in Alex being exposed to supernatural darkness. The morning after, Alex is unable to recall leaving the club, with absolutely no recollection of their trip to the psychic. Putting it down to excessive alcohol consumption, Alex sets about her day but once the evening draws in, she starts to hear things and has the distinct feeling she’s being watched. As days pass, her experiences become stranger and more violent, with unseen hands groping and scratching her body. Alex confides in Jess, who’s becoming concerned about her friend’s erratic behavior, and seeks help from college aid, Professor Madison. However the professor, much like her boyfriend Brian (I Spyders’ Kevin Jake Walker), refuses to believe Alex is the victim of a supernatural evil and so Alex must battle the demon by herself and try to break free from it’s terrifying grip before all hell breaks loose on Earth.

The Devil In Me is a modern homage to possession films The Exorcist and The Entity with elements from both films used in this 94 minute film. The movie starts off with Alex hearing scratching in the empty house and finding objects have been moved around the room. The paranormal activity then turns violent with the unseen demon groping the young woman whilst she sleeps in bed, just like Barbara Hershey’s character Carla Moran in 1982 film, The Entity. Alex awakes the following morning with scratches on her body and her friends don’t know what to believe when she tells them of her experiences. As time passes, the experiences become more frequent and intense with one scene, mimicking that of Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist, has Alex standing in the kitchen, in a conscious but sleepwalking-like state, urinating on the floor. What happens next is definitely not in The Exorcist but reccurences of scenes and actions from the 1973 possession hit can be seen throughout. Even the famous spiderwalk, or crabwalk, from The Exorcist is included in a brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene in The Devil In Me. Hardly anything in this film is original, even the title is familiar to that of recent horror film, The Devil Inside. In my mind, it would have been better to stick with the original title of Devil Seed but I can see why the current title was used in a bid to appeal to the possession film fans. The film itself is an orgy of horrors from the last few decades and presented as a love letter to classic horror. Although it’s not an inventive film, it certainly is an enjoyable one which horror fans can watch and play ‘Spot the Film Trope’.

The performances in The Devil In Me is well done in most places but lacks in others. Shantelle Canzanese is likable as best friend Jessica, a girl who loves to party and is an hilarious drunk. I could easily watch a film with her in and her screen presence was notable with her ability to act the merry lass and then a serious, concerned pal. Vanessa Broze is perfect as super-bitch Bree, who unbeknownst to Alex is sleeping with her boyfriend Brian on a daily basis. Bree’s attractive but wicked to look at, a girl it would be difficult to be friends with especially with her constant snarling. Kevin Jake Walker, who I previously saw in William Allinson’s fantastic short film I Spyders, plays love-rat Brian who’s torn between his sincere love for virginal goody-two-shoes Alex and his sexual appetite for lusty Bree. Kevin does well to play both the devoted boyfriend and the scheming cheat. The psychic, who Alex and Jess visit for the fateful reading, is one of the weaker links in the film. With her eyes caked in blue eyeshadow, the performance is unrealistic and over-the-top which looses credibility somewhat. I know a lot of horror films that have larger than life psychic characters but this one did not suit and I found it hard to believe she could contact the ‘other side’. The person who seemed to have difficulty the most was Michelle Argyris, who played lead role of Alex. She seemed to struggle playing the naive, sensitive girl with conviction but when the possession finally takes a firm grip, she seems to gel with and relish the demonic role she has been given.

If you are a fan of possession and supernatural films, then you will no doubt enjoy what The Devil In Me has to offer. It’s fun, youthful and has a few added extras that deviate from the classic scenes we all know and love.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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