One must disregard all notion of police procedure in this so-called 'based on a true story' horror film to enjoy. If you can cast aside all those notions, and common sense, there is a fairly effective chiller left behind. Derrickson builds the suspense throughout and provides a good payoff in the final few scenes. Performances are a mixed bag here with Ramirez hamming it up and Munn wasted with an underwritten role.
While not entirely successful, this film manages to blend hard-nosed crime noir with demonic possession and horror - the result is interesting enough. Unfortunately, it's not very unique. Feels like a myriad of other films shoved into a blender and poured (heartlessly, soullessly) onto a page and pumped out with no attempt at doing something different. Points for Harris and certain sequences. Generally too slow.
Apologies to MUBI friends that consider this one worthwhile; I just found nothing of interest here. A complete bore on every level. Sinister showed hitherto unseen potential for Derrickson, but this narratively, thematically & stylistically inert effort covered every single demonic possession cliché in the book & failed to improve on any of them. A nice atmosphere of heavy-dread at the beginning, but then... nothing.
It's hard to find good horror films these days. The only thing that makes this film watchable is that it is based on true events and that Eric Bana is in it. Sadly, it falls flat on all its attempts as you go along. The lack of depth on its characters becomes the evident culprit along with its badly shaped screenplay, it was all over the place. No scare factor here, and I can't give it a good rating either. It's sad.
Take one part Se7en, a dash of The Exorcist and a shameless large chunk of Fallen (Gregory Hoblit´s underrated and little seen gem) and viola!!! You have tricked the audience and producers into thinking you have made a movie all on your own. Shame on you Scott Derricksson!!!