Inner Demons (2014) – Seth Grossman

 

Releasing today from Anchor Bay is this little horror film that follows through on an idea I’ve often toyed with writing up myself, the idea of possession and addiction… science vs. faith, all set in one person’s life. A found footage film, a genre that has been beaten to death, resurrected like Jason, and beaten again, this subgenre doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for a while, so we may as well get used to it.

A documentary team composed of Tim (Brian Flaherty), Jason (Morgan McClellan) and Suzanne (Kate Whitney) have been given permission to film a family’s intervention, as they confront their daughter, Carson (Lara Vosburgh) over her drug use. It seems that Carson used to be a straight A student at a private Catholic school, but then something happened to her (something that is blatantly shown in the trailer, so it doesn’t really work as a reveal, which is too bad), and now she’s descended into a world of drugs, and abuse.

The crew follow her around, documenting her use, and the fact that one of the crew, Jason, is starting to foster a bit of a crush, which may be returned, on Carson.

The family confront her, and despite serious misgivings, Carson agrees to go into rehab, even if it’s just to show everyone that they are wrong about her, that she isn’t using the drugs as an escape from reality, but taking them to keep something repressed. As she starts to go through withdrawals, there are glimpses of something darker inside her, and Jason begins to believe Carson’s claims that there is some Thing else inside her. The rest of the crew hears about this, and see it as an opportunity to help sensationalize their documentary…. But what if Carson is right?

carson

There is some really nice chemistry between Vosburgh and McClellan that helps sell the film, but once we hit the last act of the film, things gall apart a little. As the weirdness progresses, the mirror incident is a nice touch, Jason does his own bit to try to save Carson, if he can.

Inner Demons has all the usual bells and whistles to indicate that something is wrong with Carson, the glitches on the recordings, the strange looks, the black eyes, as well as all the behaviour we know, thanks to Hollywood, are indicators of both mental health issues and possession. And for the most part it’s done really well. I only have a problem with the last act of the film, as things begin to race to their conclusion…

There are a number of moments of cameras falling exactly where they need to so as to catch the action, and also a number of moments when we cutaway to a different camera that can’t possibly be there, as the film ahs already established there is only the two cameras at work. Sure it works to promote the tension, and scares, but it also served to oust me right out of the film. If you’re going to stick with the found footage style, and have established the number of cameras, don’t change it. It ruins the reality you’re trying to create.

It didn’t, however, lessen the shock of the ending, which caught me by surprise!

So this one is about middle of the road, which is far better than most found footage films! Take a look at it today, from Anchor Bay!

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