Devil Seed (The Devil in Me) (2012)
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This movie is known under the name "The Devil in Me" as well and for me it was so hard to review it...at the moments was reaching some quality but in general it was just an attempt to make something really scary using someone's else work!
It opens with the obligatory flashback to an exorcism gone wrong some time on the 1940's... and moves forward to the same house, now inhabited by a trio of late teen ladies partial to wandering around in short, tight clothes... The story of Alexandra (Michelle Argyris), a nice girl with a not so nice boyfriend who is having a funny business behind her back with her blond housemate, was some kind of compilation of possession films - it incorporated every possible scene, scare and cliché!
I could recognise whole parts from The Exorcist , The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Demon Seed to Drag Me to Hell. Like a déjà vu of swearing, midnight staring, scratches and clawing, invisible sex attacks, levitation and blasphemous banter - nothing new there. Some of the acting wasn't too bad but that was it.
Some movies are so bad they're good. This isn't one of them. I should
have been clued in by the opening scene where a shopping mall is a
stand in for an airport. Some college kids with a hand-held could have
done just as well.
One line summary: Don't give your psychic a hard time before a reading.
This is more of a 2.5 star, rounded up to 3.
The introduction suggests a possession in 1972 terminated by the killing of the possessed young woman by a Catholic priest. Then we shoot forward to the present, say 2012, the year of the film's release.
Alex rides home from an airport with Jessica; they arrive at the new house where they meet Breanne, and soon Brian. Brian was Alex's boyfriend, but he had been intimate with Brianne when Alex arrived. Alex's grandmother has been ill, which was why she was gone most of the summer. Brian acts like things are still good between them.
That night they go to a party. Brian makes an excuse about needing to be with his father, and leaves the party early. As Jessica and Alex walk home a bit drunk, Jessica insists on stopping at a psychic's shop to check out whatever is needed to see the future.
Sigh. So let's see, we've got sexual infidelity, drunkenness, and messing about with occult implements. In the setting of Catholic mythos, this means there has to be at least one bad consequence coming up.
Jessica is incredibly insulting to the psychic, referring to her as a gypsy to hippie crossbreed, a 'gyppie.' This fits in with the plot, but what a terrible thing to say to someone you are going to for a service. The psychic asks for cash; Jessica supplies some for Alex to get a reading. The psychic guesses that Alex is an Aries, then asks which kind of cancer it was. Alex takes that to refer to her grandmother. The psychic goes on to say that Alex's mother has passed; the mother is worried for Alex. The psychic sees someone with Alex, and commands them to show themselves. The whatever takes possession, or at least a toe-hold with Alex then.
Alex gets home OK, which seems unlikely. Then the signs start showing up: electrical appliances start of their own accord; things go bump in the night; whispering voices; the next day, unexplained partially healed lacerations.
This is 30 minutes in. Bump in the night goes on for quite a while. Brian continues to cheat on Alex with Breanne. Alex starts to sleepwalk, in a creepy way. Alex and Jessica discuss this the next morning. Alex starts researching possession in the library and online. She does not seem to have the tools to get out of her situation.
People start to notice. She meets with a mixed bag of effective and ineffective advice and help. The cheating boyfriend is not all that helpful, nor is the well-intended professor at first. Soon enough, Brian just blames the whole thing on her so he can break off the relationship. Jessica, at least, is able to produce calm for short periods.
Things get much worse for Alex.
Will Alex seek help? If so, does she get help? Will Alex be freed from the possession?
Cinematography: 6/10 The introductory sequence mixed with the credits just stank on ice. The closing credits were hideous as well. The actual movie, with these black holes removed, was not that bad.
Sound: 5/10 Over-driven and unhelpful, in places; nicely tension building in others.
Acting: 4/10 Most of the performances were amateurish. Shantelle Canzanese was fairly good as Jessica.
Screenplay: 5/10 The writing establishes context quickly, which was nice. After the establishing phase, the action moves quite slowly. Much of the dialog is incredibly bad, which makes it worse.
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