It is a general consensus in the movie world that January is the dumping ground for those movies that haven’t got the box office potential to warrant a big release over the holidays. The rule also applies to those projects that have been troubled during production and the studios just want out of the way. Industry watchers say that it is a dead giveaway that they are scared of the critics, especially the first ones that come out of the gate.
Prime examples are Bloodrayne and Hostel in 2008, and 2009’s Unborn. That tradition was still alive and kicking in 2012, and the first full weekend of the new year saw the release of just one mainstream movie; ‘The Devil Inside’ and, unsurprisingly, there is no advance screening just for critics.
Think back to this time in 2011, the first movie of the year to open was the medieval horror movie ‘Season of the Witch’ starring a hapless Nic Cage in yet another stinker. To be honest, a bad Cage movie is becoming as much of a New Year tradition as a hangover.
Apart from Witch, his other winter stinker was Drive Angry and in February 2007 he unleashed Ghost Rider on us which made $115m despite taking a pounding from the critics. That is still no excuse however for the sequel to Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance that we had to suffer.
So onto ‘The Devil Inside’, this is a weird one to say the least, and yet another low budget horror trying desperately to cash in on the Paranormal Activity franchise complete with supposedly ‘found footage’. This fake documentary tracks a family’s history of violence that stretches back to 1989 when a woman brutally murdered three people, was then declared criminally insane and subsequently locked up in a Roman Catholic loony bin.
When her daughter (Fallen’s Fernanda Andrade) learns that the murders actually took place during an exorcism, she sets off for Italy, complete with camera crew, to find out the truth. The footage they get tells a horrific tale as she, reportedly, get involved which sees many people get seriously bent out of shape due to unauthorized exorcisms.
This movie was bought in February 2011 by Paramount Insurge, the low budget arm of the studio who bought us, you’ve guessed it, Paranormal Activity. In all fairness, this is a lot better than most of these movies, which is probably the reason why Paramount bought it.