February 6, 2015 Inner Demons (Movie Review)
Sixteen year old Carson Morris (Lara Vosburgh: Hatsya 2011-2012) is a troubled girl. Her mother Beth (Colleen McGann) and father Steve (Christopher Parker), are terribly worried about her crippling addiction to heroin and other destructive drugs. Before she began taking drugs, Carson was a pretty, bright, young woman who had friends and memorized the entire bible. As a religious family, Carson obtained a scholarship to the prestigious Eastlake Catholic High School. That is when things started to change dramatically, and her transformation began. Written by Glenn Gers (Disfigured 2008, Instant Mom 2014) and Directed by Seth Grossman (Hollywood Hillbillies 2014, Sex Ed 2014), Inner Demons is the latest movie released by IFC Midnight (The Babadook 2014, Extraterrestrial 2014) on October 3, 2014, which shows the desolate invasive side of drug addiction, intermingled with insanity. Utilizing the Lost Footage template, Inner Demons initially looks like a sad story of a young girl caught in a dark world with no way out.
Desperate, Beth and Steve have submitted footage to the reality television show ‘Step Inside Recovery’ in the hope of obtaining help for Carson. Film Producer Suzanne (Kate Whitney: Fighting Chance 2014, Cherry Red Kiss 2014) is accompanied by rookie cameraman Jason (Morgan McClellan: The Secret Lives of Dorks 2013, Criminal Minds 2014) and Tim (Brian Flaherty: Weeds 2012, Blah 2013) to the Morris home where they speak to Beth and Steve and set up cameras around the house to film Carson’s erratic behaviour and interviews with her friend McKee (Ashley Sutton: Swelter 2014, Beverley Pills 2014) and Reverend Jeremy Foley (Sewell Whitney: Tie the Knot 2014, The Madness Within 2015). Once Suzanne and Tim have prepped the family and spent some time with Carson, Suzanne prepares their resident drug Counsellor Doctor Dean Prentiss (Richard Wilkinson: The Butterfly Effect 3 2009, Particles of Truth 2003), giving him a rundown of what to expect at the forthcoming intervention.
It all seems pretty straight forward, Carson got addicted to drugs despite a seemingly normal family background and she has agreed to get help. After Jason finds books about demonology in Carson’s room, he cannot help but feel there is more to Carson’s problems than meets the eye. They begin spending a bit of time together and Carson reveals there is a darkness inside her that begs to get out, the only way she can placate it is with hard drugs. Carson is scared what will happen if she goes to rehab, yet agrees to do it anyway. Jason becomes infatuated with Carson and has a passionate desire to save her which drives him to make some challenging decisions as Carson begins rehab. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as Carson seems to respond favourably to treatment, until the strange events that happened at home start taking place at Rehab. Carson’s behaviour becomes increasingly more bizarre and violent each day, and there is a supernatural element that is easy to ignore for anyone but Jason. Truly enraptured, Jason sticks by Carson’s side much to the consternation of his fellow film crew and her parents.
Jason will not let the possession angle slide, and becomes insistent with Doctor Kordis (John Cragen: Sugar Rush 2009, Evolver 2011) that it is a serious matter. Doctor Kordis assures Jason and the others that he has heard many such weirder claims by recovering drug addicts including aliens and Government interference, thus, demon possession is just another way of not dealing with her problems. With Carson progressively getting sicker, scene by scene it becomes clear that Carson’s life was not as picture perfect as it would appear and there may be much more to what is inside Carson than your usual run of the mill sullen teenager. When Carson is forced back into the care of her unprepared parents, events take a disturbing and blood splattered turn. As each layer of the story is pealed away, the stinking festering truth begins to be revealed and it is unclear if Carson, or anyone else involved in her life, will survive. Can Jason, as the only person who seems to truly love Carson, save her and everyone else before it is too late, or will a sickening twist of fate prove too much?
With excellent special effects that blend seamlessly into the scenery, Inner Demons maximises the most out of the Lost Footage aspect, delivering an in-depth tight story with rich, deep characters that deliver certainly more than meets the eye. Cinematography by Chapin Hall (Metallica: This Monster Lives 2014, Annie 2014) utilises the beautiful scenery around Brandeis, California where Inner Demons was filmed, which creates the diverse atmospheres that back up the intense plot. The combination of new and veteran actors adds the necessary experience needed to carry off the fast pace and desperateness that amplifies Inner Demons from the possibly mundane to spectacular. A must watch for all Horror fans, with an ending the viewer will not see coming, but will welcome nonetheless. CrypticRock scores Inner Demons 5 out of 5 stars.