Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fear of a Black Planet

The Academy Awards shoulda been a glorious battle between Lincoln and Django Unchained. Much as I loved Prometheus, it doesn't come close to either of these great portraits of the shaping of modern America. But this is the Academy we're talking about, a group more reactionary and entrenched in privilege than Ron Paul's entire rotten family.

Though I should point this out before going any further - Argo was pretty alright. A tight, focused little thriller that was surprisingly honest about why Iran was pissed off with America in the first place. And it had John Goodman, which elevates even car commercials

"I will show you the life of the mind!"

But up against Lincoln and Django? No. Hell no. And I can't help thinking it was the Academy's reactionary streak that gave the award to Argo rather than that film's very real merits. "Hey, here's a movie about us bamboozling those durn turrists! And it doesn't suck!"

And it was the safer of those two choices, the Academy also being way too craven to give an award to something as perverse as Murder-Spank-Dirty...

The rest of the awards show pretty clearly that it's a bunch of ancient Romney voters deciding these things. Daniel Day "Crazy Awesome" Lewis did win best actor and Christolph Waltz got another Best Supporting for his work in another Tarantino picture - which arguably should've gone to DiCaprio this time - but the Actress awards went to a martyred mother and a psycho new-agey rom-com spank fantasy. And really, these awards also allow people to just look at the actor Acting! and not worry about the real content of a film.

Lincoln for example. Folks like to turn off their brains when considering the lovable old golem, but you can't watch this iteration of him without seeing the very real and ugly political realities of that time. In case ya still haven't figured it out, slavery is bad and the Confederacy were a bunch of assholes. That's the thrust of both Lincoln and Django, but the former also delves into the rotten congressional in-fighting that the real Abraham Lincoln had to deal with while trying to accomplish his shocking and controversial scheme of ending slave labor in America. Y'know, that Land Of The Free? It wasn't the only film tackling that subject this year but it did have a white protagonist who never shot anybody, making it more acceptable to craven old dolts.

And that's what really differentiates Django Unchained and possibly makes it the better film. In my review, I was still caught up in just how balls-out awesome it was and how you should go see it. You still should - twice - but I need to add Tarantino did something with it no other film about slavery has ever done - gave a black man agency. Ever since the weepy Uncle Tom's Cabin, all artistic works about American slavery have treated the people at the center of the issue as either sumps for white-guilt bathos or martyrs too good for this wicked world - Lincoln being a particularly egregious ofender thanks to Tommy Lee Jones as the Last Good Republican. Django, the man, isn't either of these things but a real human being with all the highs and lows that come with that state of being. He's liberated by a white man, sure, but he grows into self-determination unclouded by the desire of white people to teach each other neat little moral lessons.

He's not used, is my point. And it's creepy we had to wait until 2012 for a film character like that. It helps that Jaime Foxx is the best American actor since Steve McQueen, carrying Django's development from a beaten down slave to glorious avenger with believabilty and real pathos. The flashback of him and his wife Hildi fleeing the savagery of plantation life while Elayna Boynton sings "Freedom" would be hauntingly beautiful on its own, but Foxx's performance, the very human desperation and dignity he gives to Django, that alone should've secured every Oscar ever.

But this is the Academy we're talking about. Half these wretched fuckers are probably old enough to have owned slaves themselves. And the mass hysteria that swept through conservative media following the film's release shows us that these creeps are way more normal than we'd like to think and that even a hundred and sixty years after the fact, America just can't handle the truth.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Notorious and Legendary Dog and Pony Show (Redux)

The sequester is big news because none of you screwheads understand economics. Nothing about it will fix the deficit - like that matters in a recession more than unemployment - as the sequester itself and all proposed solutions are just more of the Hayekan hackery that always fails. "Gee, should I have the austerity shit sandwich or skip straight to the austerity shit pie?"

My point is the sequester is a nothing story that sounds scary. And it's not the only one - those yahoos who compared healthcare to broccoli are at it again, this time with campaign financing. Since Citizens United worked out so well, the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case on whether or not private citizens should have the same rights as Super PACs. Those rights being unlimited bribery. Oh woe is democracy and stuff, right?

"Muahahaha!"

...Except, if you remember the 2012 campaign, all that Super PAC money didn't really help the Bad Guys. Let's just start calling the GOP the Bad Guys, since the ones who aren't nakedly and amorally careerist are just vicious hicks who hate brown people and happiness.

Anyways, everyone thought the Bad Guys would get some huge electoral advantage from Citizens United but all it really did is make the American election season even stupider. Long shots like Gingrich and no shots like Santorum stayed in the primary much longer than they ever would in previous election years because all the really cracked rich people could just keep funding them. In the end, it didn't win them or Romney any more votes than they would've gotten with tighter campaign financing laws.

"But!" you argue, like an idiot, "None of those clowns ever had a chance against the smoothest talking Democrat since Slick Willy! What about all the other offices!?"

What about 'em? Dems picked up more Senate seats and the Bad Guys only maintained a slim majority in the House through good ol' fashioned gerrymandering. All that corporate cash self-styled progressives were fretting about didn't do squat in the face of very real and palpable demographic changes.

All it did is make the election year meaner, crazier, and stupider than ever before. And that's all this latest case will do - because we know how this court will vote already. They'll abolish the last vestige of campaign finance law, guaranteeing the next presidential election is even meaner and stupider than the one we just suffered through. Like I said in November.

Meanwhile, American life expectancy continues to drop and the heat death of our biosphere approaches with grim certainty. But there's nothing wonky about that so why bother?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Excerpt: Pray the Gay Away

"- And your Aunt Rhonda says hi, and so do your cousins Beth and Mary. You know Beth should finally be starting college after the new year? She had those last math credits from her senior year so - it's kind of funny - she'll be walking at her high school graduation after her first college semester!"

She'd been babbling on like that for forty-five minutes. Everything the neighbors had said, every last aunt, uncle, and cousin, the other ladies at church - did they know about all of this? David hadn't been paying very close attention to his mom since she arrived and declared "Merry Christmas!" Funny, they'd promised he'd be home by now...

Not that he really could pay attention. Since arriving at Exodus, part of David's "holistic" therapy had consisted of a steady diet of pills left him feeling groggy and seemed to make everything he heard make that much more sense in senseless sort of way. Not that it really made sense - on the pills nothing really made sense. Probably why he and his roommate spent most of that night a few weeks ago laughing at their own ceiling. It made him want to laugh right then and there.

"Is something wrong, honey?"

David tried to focus on his mom. "Hmm? No, nothin' wrong."

"You were just -" she began to say something but stopped, her strained smile looking even more so. "Well, never mind. Anyway..."

She went back to chattering. It took David some effort to keep the receiver by his ear, creating the illusion of attention. His mom had visited once before, back before the pills had really started to take effect and they'd had more of a proper conversation... Though David couldn't just then remember any of the specifics.

His gaze drifted from side to side, looking at the others who had visitors that day, all arranged behind the glass and listening to their mothers on phones. Or sisters, fathers and brothers never came to visit. Well, there was that one brother, but security hadn't believed him at first and demanded to see ID. "Family members only!" they'd insisted, though they'd never been so nervous about the female family members. Someone had suggested in the cafeteria one day that things were dead opposite on the girls' side of campus, with all the mothers and sisters getting carded to prove they weren't a secret girlfriend coming to tempt the patient back into sin.

"Hmm?" David said, trying to focus.

"Are you doing okay, sweetie?" his mom asked again. "Are you - that is, do you think you're..."

She must have been trying to ask if he were any less gay. "M'okay," he said. "Keep us busy with, mmm, stuff." His eyes were losing focus again. How much had they given him this time?

"Attention!" a voice boomed through the building. "Visiting hour will end in ten minutes! Visiting hour end in ten minutes!"

A few of the more energetic patients made noise at this but not much.

"Oh dear, should I let you go?" his mom asked.

"Yeah," David said. "I'll see ya next... whenever."

"Okay," she seemed to hesitate.

David vaguely remembered how they supposedly briefed all visitors on words not to use. His mom must have wanted to say she loved him. Instead, she hung up her phone and gathered her coat, hurrying out the exit without a look back.

David felt some mild discomfort at that. He couldn't quite place it but something about the way she left just didn't feel right. Damn, what did they give him this time? It was a minute or so before he realized his phone had fallen to his lap. He sluggishly hung it back up on the wall and pushed himself up from the chair, a surprisingly great effort. The others soon followed, hanging up on whoever had bothered to show up and shuffling off behind David.

...All except Stephen. Not Steve, as he was always quick to point out - Stephen. He still sat there, chattering with his sister. It looked like his sister, or maybe cousin. Of all the other guys at Exodus, David thought he looked the most like a real fag. He was skinny with that feminine look to his face and a voice to match. Even the other guys avoided him, like they were all back in the real world and it was understood if you got too close to Stephen you might catch a bad case of the gay.

David couldn't avoid him too much though, seeing as they were roommates. Not that they had very much in common - Stephen's only interests were reading and theater, both things David tended to avoid. But still, if asked, David would insist Stephen wasn't such a bad guy. He was okay for conversation if you gave him long enough - he could rattle off just about every line from those Monty Python movies - and he'd never hit on David or really acted all that gay. Of course, seeing as he was here...

"Visiting hour is over!" the voice boomed again. "All visitors please exit the facility! All patients please return to your rooms!"

Stephen still wouldn't move. David lingered by the door long enough to see security "ask" his sister to leave, hanging up for her. Stephen got moving without a fuss after that. He knew they would just carry him wherever he was supposed to be.

Oddly enough, they both arrived back at their room at the same time. David had once heard horror stories about the tiny dorm rooms to expect in college and how you were expected to share such a tight space with another person. He hadn't noticed anything all that unbearable, although they weren't allowed any personal items besides clothes - which they were never allowed to wear anyway, being issued drab sweat clothes - and toiletries. And upon arrival, everyone was issued the official Exodus Plan Workbook and a Bible.

Not that David read much of either. Neither did Stephen.

"So," David said after a while. "Good talk with your, uh, sister?"

"Cousin," Stephen corrected. Perched on the edge of his cot, he hung his head rubbing his eyes under the glasses. "Yeah, we talked about, y'know, stuff."

Their conversations never got more in depth than that. David suspected, when he had the presence of mind to suspect anything anymore, that Stephen liked it that way. The other patients tended to pick on him for being a fag - despite where they all were - and the councilors always singled him out as a "special case." The consensus seemed to be that he was in denial and had to admit he had a problem, much like David when he first arrived. David got beyond that pretty quick though, as everyone made it clear sucking off Brad made him really gay.

But Stephen, he still insisted he didn't like guys.

"We've got another group meeting in fifteen," Stephen said, stretching out on the cot. He muttered something.

"Hmm?" David asked. His vision was starting to focus more easily now.

"I said I'm fucking sick of this!" Stephen snapped. "Jesus, I shouldn't be here at all, I -" He saw David's bleary eyes. "How much of that shit did they give you this time?"

"Mmm," David held up first three, then two, then corrected himself again and held out three fingers. "Think it's wearing off now."

"You know those are fucking horse tranquilizers, right?" Stephen dropped his voice, "I started palming them just last week. You should too, makes everything clear up." He added, with a vicious look to his eyes, "Makes it harder for those bastards to mess with your head too."

David shook his head. "Don't want to get in trouble."

Stephen laughed. "Dude, you're in fag rehab! You're in enough trouble already! Little more won't hurt you. Besides," he sat up, leaning closer to David so he could whisper, "They don't check to make sure you take 'em, y'know?"

David shook his head again. He'd promised his mom he'd try. He didn't really want to be gay - he thought. He liked Brad but didn't want it to go beyond that - even though it had already. "Gotta stop while I'm ahead," he completed the thought out loud, then laughed like a hyena. "I said head!"

"Jesus, you're high," muttered Stephen. "Can't say I blame you..."

They sat in silence - except for David's snickering - until the booming voice announced the next group session. David and Stephen shuffled down the hall along with the others, most of whom were still a little groggy from the medicine. It was a necessity, they were told. Their urges had to be suppressed somehow until they could purge them. Otherwise, who knows what they would get up to with each other when the lights went out?

David and Stephen were in the same group, along with some six other boys. They took their seats at one of the dozens of round tables in the main hall - which also doubled as the cafeteria, which doubled as a clinic when the councilors wheeled in privacy screens. Their councilor - in group and individually - was Robert, an orange-tanned and upbeat character with the habit of calling everyone "brother." Like all the other councilors, he was a graduate of the program.

"Grace and peace, brothers!" Robert said once they were all seated, smiling with those perfectly white teeth. "Everyone have a good visit? Brandon, what about you?"

He always did that, singling one of them out to guarantee someone would answer. "M'okay," Brandon said. As Robert kept looking at him, he hastily added, "My mom, uh, said there was this girl asking for me and, um, everyone at home's praying for me?"

That was a popular answer. Robert liked it so much he would leave whoever said it alone for the rest of the session. "Well amen to that! The support and prayers of your family are always needed in these difficult times. But it always comes down to you to get yourself right with the Lord!"

It always came back to the Lord with Robert. Same with all the other councilors but Robert liked to be very loud about it. "- Because only through the Lord and the sacred blood of his only Son, Jesus Christ can you be purged of your wickedness... Along with the Exodus Inc. program."

The program actually came first in Robert’s formula. First, they all had to admit they had a problem. Next, they all had to identify their “wound” – some moment from childhood that turned them from the straight and narrow, as it were. David had never really believed that psychobabble crap, but at Exodus he’d soon found himself blaming his own quiet, agreeable mother for being the emasculating force behind his own turn to wickedness. The things he’d said about her...

Others produced similar stories. Except for Stephen who visibly held the whole program in contempt. The most of a “wound” Robert had ever gotten out of him was “That time I was molested by an alcoholic Marxist in a chicken suit.” David suspected this was a joke.

And now, it the third phase of the program they were all confronting their “wound” – or would that be “wounds?” – with the healing blood of Jesus or something. The medicine made everything so fuzzy... Today in particular. He couldn’t catch much of anything until the fog in his head started to clear near the end.

"...But I asked her to hold onto my books - hide them if she needed to - until I got back." Now Stephen was talking and, as usual, Robert didn't look too happy.

"Oh Stephen," he said in that exasperated tone, as though he were his mother. "You're here to leave that behind you! If you leave here and go right back to your old ways, you can so easily fall to temptation. And you'll fall so very far you'll feel like you can never get back up!"

"Now," and Robert addressed the whole group, "I don't know if I've told you boys about my good friend Gary -"

"Only every Tuesday," muttered Stephen.

"Gary repented and washed away his wickedness and thought he'd won," Robert continued, pointedly ignoring Stephen. "But the Devil does not give up! This is war! Spiritual war and Gary just wasn't ready for that. He went right back to the same friends and the same clubs and within a month he was dead from AIDS!"

Most of the stories around there that began with "I had a friend..." ended that way. And most of the other boys at the table reacted with appropriate fear at this. Even David shifted uncomfortably but Stephen just rolled his eyes.

"Now how about a prayer?" It wasn't a question. Robert bowed his head and the group followed suit. "Oh Lord!" he said, "Please come into these poor, confused boys. Pass over and through them and fill them with Your love so they might better work to do Your work and keep themselves pure. Amen!"

"Amen!" the group responded. No speaking in tongues today, it seemed.

As they all got up to leave, Robert pulled David aside. "Brother, I couldn't help but notice you were awfully quiet today. What's wrong?"

His wooziness all but gone, David just shook his head. "No I'm fine. Just not alot going on today."

"You sure?" Robert pressed. "This can be a confusing period of adjustment. You had a good visit, didn't you?"

"Yeah, yeah," David tried to inch away. "Mom's doing great and everyone's thinking of me and stuff." He then added, hoping it would get Robert to leave him alone, "And praying."

"Oh good, that's good," Robert said, still keeping David close. "But... How about your roommate?"

David stiffened some as they left the main hall. "Stephen's cool. Doesn't talk much but -"

"Now David," Robert said, "We both know he talks quite a bit. He's not making any secret about how he feels about Exodus. He's not committed to bettering himself like you." And he placed a firm hand on David's shoulder.

They were alone now, in one of the many long snaking hallways of the building. "I bet this used to be an asylum!" Stephen had said one night. It would explain the comforting beige colors and chain-link on the windows. David's head was now clear enough to know exactly what Robert would ask of him.

"Ask yourself," Robert said, steering them to a custodian's closet. "What can you do to help Stephen in his struggle? How can you help him to purge his wickedness alongside you? Or -" and he lead them into the closet, wedging a dust pan in the door to keep it from latching. "Have you really been helping him to backslide?"

It was the same accusation every time. David wondered why Robert went to the trouble anymore. "Oh no, nothing like that."

"Because it would be a shame if the two of you were cheating at the program," Robert continued while unbuttoning his jeans and motioning for David to kneel down.

David took Robert into his mouth - hard already.

"Yep, real shame." He placed a hand on David's head and thrust some. A graduate of the program, like all the other councilors.


Read One Nation Under God to see the happy ending! Available now on Kindle and on the ereader of your choice February 28th!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hannibal Lector Goes Meta

So Kevin Bacon is doing TV now and that's sadly the only reason people are checking out The Following. 'Cause it's a good show on just its non-Kevin Bacon aspects. For the most part...

The gist of it is that James Purefoy - of Marc "Kill and Fuck Everything!" Antony fame - is a deranged professor who not only turned serial killer, but has got himself a whole cult. Kevin Bacon is the haggard ex-Fed with a drinking problem who brought him down before and now has to do it again, even though Murder Antony is back behind bars.

That's just the first episode. Purefoy's character is one of those diabolical masterminds only ever encountered in fiction and each episode is Bacon and his Fed-pals trying to figure out his next move. It manages some nice suspense in the process without drifting too much into melodrama. Things even deviate from Purefoy's master plan enough to maintain a sense of realism.

Though the suspense and mystery is pretty thriller-by-numbers. What makes The Following stand out is that cult aspect - Purefoy's minions, even the lucid ones display a reverent obsession with him, not unlike the actual obsession people with no lives develop for high-profile monsters. The national fascination with serial killers is here taken to the extremes of literality, as Purefoy's fans become his eager helpers, doing his bidding while he twiddles his thumbs in jail and smirks at the FBI.

Where it falters is in how it frames Purefoy's madness. He venerates Edgar Allen Poe and all of Gothic Romanticism, styling his murders and rationalizations after Poe's writing. If you've been through a college level lit course on the subject, you're laughing your ass off right now. I like Poe and all, but he's nowhere near as unnerving as The Following gives him credit for - and he was one of the few lights in the whole corpus of gothic fiction that isn't either painfully melodramatic or unintentionally hilarious. The Castle of Otranto, the novel that signaled the birth of the gothic genre, begins with a giant helmet falling out of the sky and crushing some guy. Better not let Purefoy see any Looney Tunes or he'll start murdering people with anvils...

But that's admittedly a personal gripe and is overshadowed by the best thing about this show - it understands the importance of actual mystery. Purefoy's ultimate endgame is anyone's guess and each episode has more confederates bursting out of the closet to do something terrible and make Bacon start drinking again. It really taps into that vein of white hot paranoia in this country, along with how these conspirators have clearly confused great with ghastly. If you can get beyond the Lit 101 nonsense, it's not a bad way to spend a week night. It's a damn sight better than that mess Dexter...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

(Almost) No Exit

Visioneers is one of those at once heartening and depressing films because all you can think about when it's over is what it could have been. It could've been so much meaner, so much funnier, so much more true.

Because it gets closer to all of those things than anything else out these days. It presents a very familiar dystopia - the white-collar office world and suburbia. Being nice to people you hate all day long to a soundtrack of upbeat propaganda, only to come home to a sexless marriage and bad TV.

And whatever the hell this is...

And Visioneers does all of that brilliantly, up to a point. Oddly, where it falters is in the comic exaggerations - people great each other with company slogans and the company salute, a gratuitous and eventually pointless middle finger. They're asigned huge teddy bears to simulate affection and are expected to record such for marketing purposes. And they get the bears in the first place because there's an epidemic of people up and exploding.

Visioneers can't decide if it's an annihilating satire or a slapstick farce. It could be either, as evidenced frequently by the crushing doldrums of the protagonist's daily life and by some great asides, like a show about some mulleted '80s Action Hero with a porn 'stache who beats up old ladies for freedom. But it's trying to be both which just doesn't work. And nowhere is that more obvious than in casting Zach Galifinakis in the lead.

Galifinakis isn't a bad actor but he's a very particular actor. He works best as the unhinged foil like in The Hangover or like in every other film he's ever done. Making him the Everyman center of Visioneers not only doesn't fit, it curtails his good qualities even in the dream sequences where he's George Washington.

...No, I'm still trying to figure out the first picture.

And there's hope. It defies the logic the film builds over its entire run, but Visioneers ends on a hopeful note. That we can escape this poshlost nightmare world by getting in touch with ourselves and with each other and some other hippie self-actualization crap. To borrow a sentiment from Hunter Thompson, it just didn't get mean enough for me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Blockbuster of O

I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty because Kathryn Bigelow is a hack and I don't believe in encouraging hacks.

Or zombies.

That said, I will comment on an aspect of it that's spent a good month in the news - torture. Specifically the efficacy of torture as presented in Bigelow's bin Laden death porn flick, at least as I understand it. Seeing the worst excess of the Bush years up on the silver screen has gotten all the Very Serious People scratching they're chins and asking "Maybe this torture thing maybe sorta works?" And that just begs for a thoughtful and in-depth answer:

It don't.

Torture doesn't work. Not for actionable intelligence anyways. If you want to be like the Russians in Chechnya and just menace the hell out of everyone until they're too terrified, then it works. If you want to leave a mangled calling card in Baghdad and the Zeta-controlled parts of Mexico then hell yeah it works! Not to scare anyone off of course, just to show that you're the meanest monster on the block.

But information? You never get that through torture because the poor bastard will say anything to get you to stop. Usually. The opposite end of the spectrum is the guy you can waterboard over and over and over who won't change his story. That's what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did, took the worst the CIA could give him and convinced the glorified bagmen that he was telling the truth. "Anyone would break after that!"

Maybe. Maybe not. Because torture doesn't even make cold-blooded sense. The amount of time it'll take to first break someone and then shift through what truths they may have actually spilled in the inevitable fog of "I'll tell these sick fucks anything if they'll just take the electrodes off my balls!" you could've just done the good cop/bad cop treatment. Hell that's how we really found bin Laden! The FBI got a hold of the guy who knew the driver who knew the snitch that spilled the beans on the Hotel bin Laden in Pakistan.

And that doesn't matter to torturers and their apologists. Because it's not really about gathering intelligence at all but about power. Getting off on the control they have on another human being. It's hardly a unique pathology, but it's shameful that anyone still bothers to rationalize it. That whole "ticking time-bomb" scenario? Bullshit. And thank god for that, 'cause with how long it takes our "interrogators" to get to their paingasm, the bomb would've gone off ten times!

So if you must go see Bigelow embarrass herself more, keep in mind that when the brave heroes of Zero Dark Thirty get to wailing on prisoners, it's not out of any necessity but because they enjoy it. The sick fucks...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Devil in Ms. Johnson

I love the found-footage horror genre. I think you should love it too. And part of that love involves recognizing when it's time to take one of these films behind the barn and put it out of its misery...

The Devil Inside is just begging for a trip behind the barn. It probably never had a chance, as it tries to mix the current Paranormal Activity style with the classic Exorcist. And in the process, it can only present the worst of both.

See, back when The Exorcist came out, the country hadn't suffered through decades of Protestant hooey mucking up everyone's daily lives. Religion at the time, especially Catholicism, had this nice alien quality that added to the horror of demonic possession. Because there's always more horror to be found in The Other and director William Friedkin was irreverent enough to maintain a degree of mystery and ambiguity about the story.

He also smacked a priest around. Because Friedkin don't give a shit!

And that's where The Devil Inside fails right out of the gate - it presents the Christian cosmology as a definite. The rest of the film is then just the main Everywoman getting to grips with this Truth in time for the finale.

Now that still wouldn't make for a bad film. Everyone likes a good crisis of faith. But she gets two sidekicks - Father Limey and Father Balding - who act as evangelical cheerleaders. The main thrust of the film feels less "Booh!" and more "Come to Jaysus!" as these two dildos - and anyone else to appear onscreen with a white collar - repeats the old saw about how science doesn't have all the answers so there. It's obnoxious and it's just not representative of the long intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church.

I had hopes for some ambiguity early on during an "official" exorcism class in Rome. The priest leading the discussion even played devil's advocate - hardy har har - by pointing out all the various mental disturbances that could appear to be possession. I particularly liked that every reference to multiple personalities used the correct clinical definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder. But it all falls apart as Everywoman and her Laurel and Hardy exorcists faff about trying to use video of Mama Everywoman as proof to the Vatican that demonic possession exists. They also win her over by exorcizin' a girl they had locked up in their basement.

Which I admit made sense for this character...

I'd still like to see the old '70s possession story done in the new found footage style. The Devil Inside isn't that, because for all it's effort it only manages to shout "The power of Christ compels you!" at the audience. This is America, we've got enough Christ.