The Demon Inside: A Review
by Luce Allan
The themes of both psychological and paranormal horror collide in The Demon Inside (2017), in which Sam Parsons, a former convict, struggles to reconnect with his wife and young daughter after his time in prison. Their healing is disrupted, however, by a supernatural being that begins to slowly invade their house and battle for control over their lives. With the aid of the “Ghost Killers,” a team of paranormal investigators, Sam discovers the true nature of the entity within his house and the purpose behind its mounting attacks.
The Demon Inside emulates the theme of demonic home invasion seen in such film franchises as The Amityville Horror, Paranormal Activity, and Insidious, but does little to expand on the idea or add new twists. While the plot is generally entertaining, its tendency to lean on a formulaic storyline often hinders its momentum and intrigue. While the paranormal investigators are meant as satire, the characters often feel cringingly overdramatic, which steers the film away from a full investment in some of the more serious moments. Much of the score sounds nearly identical to the score used in the Insidious films, which some may find distracting.
The film finds its strengths in the notable cinematography and use of color. There are some interesting shots, particularly those that are bathed in delightfully lurid shades of blue, yellow, and red. Joseph Rene and Madeline Thelton give solid and convincing performances as a husband and wife who are rebuilding the trust in their marriage after the former's imprisonment, and Jake Ryan Hull's rendering of the compassionate and intelligent Tips, one of the behind-the-scenes members of the “Ghost Killers,” adds a tone of empathy and kindness to the film. The characterization of Sam Parsons, while occasionally generic, is given depth in his war against the darkness of his former self and his profound lack of self-esteem following his incarceration.
The Demon Inside ultimately resorts to the standard tropes of the paranormal genre, although it rises slightly above the average demonic invasion film due to the quality of its actors and its stimulating aesthetic.