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Drugs and the devil spice up 'Inner Demons'

Drugs and the devil spice up 'Inner Demons'
A scene from "Inner Demons." (IFC)

They tried to make her go to rehab, but what she really needed was an exorcism. Such is the case of 16-year-old Carson Morris, the subject of an intervention-style reality TV show at the heart of "Inner Demons," an efficient little thriller in the found-footage mode.

Carson (Lara Vosburgh), an A student and Bible devotee turned gothed-out junkie, agrees to be filmed for what she thinks is a kind of educational film about drugs. Before long, though, the documentary crew is shooting a surprise intervention in which Carson's at-odds parents (Colleen McGrann, Christopher Parker), her best friend (Ashley Sutton) and the reality show's Dr. Drew-like host (Richard Wilkinson) force the troubled teen into detox.

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The action moves to a rehab center where the facility's director (John Cragen) is soon sorry he's allowed in TV cameras. That's because Carson, who's showing some ugly signs of demonic possession, proves a seriously disruptive force for the other patients. (She uses dope, she says, to quell the devil inside.)

Only the show's concerned, perhaps smitten young production assistant, Jason (Morgan McClellan), believes Carson is possessed. But is there any way to beat the devil?

What ensues is both expected and startling as Jason turns DIY exorcist. Given the movie's found-footage conceit, it's no spoiler to report that things get pretty hairy before it's all said and done.

Credible performances, effective visuals and tight pacing round out this chilling effort. The film was written by Glenn Gers and directed by Seth Grossman, who, not uncoincidentally, produced several episodes of A&E's addiction docudrama "Intervention."

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"Inner Demons"

MPAA Rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Playing: At the Arena Cinema, Hollywood.

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