The Devil Inside
By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
In the 1980s an American woman, Maria Rossi, murders two priests and a nun as they carry out an exorcism for her. She is arrested but found non guilty by reason of insanity at her trial. She is sent to an asylum and for some strange reason the Vatican intervenes and has her transferred to a mental hospital in Rome.
Twenty years on her daughter leads a documentary film crew to Rome as she seeks to visit her mother and try to arrange an exorcism for her.
Last year “The Rite” was released, based on a non-fiction book by Matt Baglio. I liked “The Rite” film, because though fictionalized, it reflected Catholic teaching and practice about exorcism accurately. Most importantly, it showed that the rite of exorcism, through the grace of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, relieves suffering.
“The Devil Inside” however, plays fast and loose with accuracy. It’s like “The Blair Witch Project” goes to Rome. It’s a horror flick. I am sure the filmmakers must have read “The Rite” because they get some things right, but their bias against the Church as expressed by two priests who exorcise Maria without permission of the Vatican, is odd and thus renders the inner logic of the film quite flawed.
“The Devil Inside” won the box office last weekend, but I thought it was a boring rehash of the same old story. The good part is that the film reminds people that the devil is still around and he sure doesn’t seem to be leaving Hollywood anytime soon.
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