Review: IT LIVES INSIDE (2018)

IT LIVES INSIDE is something of a mystery. Normally, when I get a film for review, I head over to IMDB and check for familiar names in the credits. Maybe see what else the director and stars have done in order to familiarize myself with the project. IT LIVES INSIDE doesn’t have an IMDB entry. Its leads have one shared credit, (ARMY OF FRANKENSTEINS), and I’d seen that. Google just turned up the same press release I got with the screener. I’ve heard of keeping a project under wraps, but this is a bit much.

The film opens with a prologue involving an apparently possessed blacksmith going on a killing spree before killing himself. We then jump forward to the present and meet a young couple, referred to in the credits as The Man (Rett Terrell, THE JURASSIC GAMES) and The Woman (Alissa Rose Ford), along with their toddler Caleb are renovating a house they just bought. Things are tense as it seems he’s injured himself and is out of work, which means money is very tight. While stashing things in the attic, they find a box with some stuff, including a jar of ashes and an old book that seems to reference the killings from the prologue.

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It’s not long before a shadowy presence is creeping around, and The Man is acting distinctly nasty and antisocially. Stress? Depression? Possession? I think we all know the answer by this point. And the film’s outcome too for that matter.

IT LIVES INSIDE is by the numbers horror on a budget even tighter than the one the film’s couple are on. There’s a very small cast, several of whom are just voices on the phone, and a few barren sets. The effects are very basic CGI, the demon looks like a column of smoke for most of the film, cheap but passably done. When they do show it’s true form the results are laughably bad.

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Plenty of films have managed to work around cast and budget limitations with clever scripts, but IT LIVES INSIDE lacks that as well. The dialogue is clunky and the situation cliché. I’m not sure if director Jeff Hall, (there are about twenty listings for that name on IMDB), is a good filmmaker having an off day or not, but for his sake, I hope this isn’t him on his A-game.

High Octane Pictures releases IT LIVES INSIDE August 7 on VOD and September 4 on DVD.

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