Addiction is scarier than any horror film. The way in which drugs, alcohol or any other substances can overtake someone and cause them to become somebody completely different than who they truly are, is a terrifyingly real issue, and while it’s been tackled in a couple of genre films over the last couple of years (2013’s EVIL DEAD remake did it ok, but the idea of addiction and terror was successfully looked upon in Benson/Moorhead’s RESOLUTION. ), it’s never been the most important issue in a horror film in a while. Taking the sad and awful idea of somebody becoming someone they’re not because of addiction and running with it, Seth Grossman’s INNER DEMONS not only successfully navigates through someone affected by drugs, but also very much affected by evil.

Like last year’s fellow POV-styled DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN, INNER DEMONS follows a crew attempting to film a reality TV show, this time with the show being akin to the “Intervention” shows that are so popular these days. When we meet the family needing the intervention, they tell us that their daughter, Carson (Lara Vosburgh), was always a great student and a loving girl, but that she has fallen into drug use, and isn’t the same person she once was. When we meet Carson for ourselves, we’re met with  a girl who is obviously troubled. There’s an emptiness to her eyes, and a soft spoken demeanor that doesn’t do anything to argue her case. When she is ambushed by her family and a friend (along with the camera crew and a specialist) into an intervention, she loses her temper, becoming incredibly strong and violent, but eventually agrees to enter a facility to help her.

An angle that works right from the beginning is the angle of a young cameraman named Jason (Morgan McClellan), who unlike everyone else involved, is actually concerned for Carson. Everybody else, from the show’s producer, to the specialist and additional crew members, all approach Carson as if she was just a number in their statistics, a notch in their intervention bed post, so to speak. The character of Jason cares about Carson, and does everything he can to make sure she’s taken care of and put into the right position. After finding books on the occult and demonic possession, Jason begins to suspect that maybe drugs aren’t the only things that have taken Carson over, but like usual, nobody is hearing it.

INNER DEMONS never tries to be anything other than what it is: an entertaining horror film, but actually DOES become something different, something more important. It’s a very well written, acted and directed look at how addiction of any kind can ruin someone and how allowing certain things into your life can take you over. Sure, in the film it happens to be demons, but the underlying theme of the film uses that as a way to look at addiction and the pain someone goes through when they’re not themselves anymore. It’s a completely masterful approach to genre filmmaking, and breathes new life into the “found footage”/POV style of filmmaking.

Director Seth Grossman’s past in being an actual producer of “Intervention” helps give INNER DEMONS a realistic and authentic feeling to the film, as it really feels like you’re watching an episode of that show, making it extremely easy to be on board with the story and the characters in said story. I have to applaud filmmakers like Grossman, who instead of deciding to play around in the “found footage” style of filmmaking and do it like everybody else has, does something very different. The film switches to a lot of mounted camera scenes when Carson goes to the facility for recovery, but it never once takes you out of the story, and with the Jason character feeling something for Carson, any chances in camera style are changes that don’t affect the experience whatsoever.

It’s the character development of INNER DEMONS that really stands out. Where a lot of POV films give you stale characters that aren’t easy to sympathize with, you find yourself just wanting to see the freaky stuff to make up for those characters, but with INNER DEMONS, you become genuinely interested in each character so much, that when the demonic elements come in, you find yourself worried and hopeful that Carson will be saved. Lesser film would rely more on the demonic elements, but the buildup is crucial in INNER DEMONS, and that buildup helps elevate the scares to a point where it’s impossible not to be on the edge of your seat, especially with the shocking and expertly well done ending of the film.

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  1. […] no secret that we loved Seth Grossman’s found footage/POV film INNER DEMONS (review). It was a refreshing and completely original take on both the found footage subgenre and the […]

  2. […] films that are available to pick up today, and while we’ve tackled some of them already (INNER DEMONS, BURYING THE EX and WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD), we’ve got the rundown on the rest for you […]

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