I get a sense the filmmakers wanted their “based on true events” exorcism thriller to be more wholesome and Jesus-y than William Friedkin’s. A Satanic demon takes over the body of a teenage girl (Sydney Sweeney), who thinks at first it’s the spirit of her long-lost mom. At one point, this demon turns our wallflower into a midriff-baring, cutoffs-wearing temptress, ready to suck the tongue out of a popular boy who just wants to take it slow. The movie both preaches abstinence and claims that fast-ass gals usually have the devil in them.
Just like in The Exorcist, it’s up to a veteran man of the cloth and a younger, naive holy man to literally get the hell out of this girl. In this case, it’s the local clergymen: an embittered, whiskey-sipping priest (Bruce Davison) and a new pastor (Matt Dallas) who seems more creepy than the demon who’s possessing her. (There’s a scene where the camera-carrying pastor meets up with the girl — at a candy store! — that’s so damn cringeworthy it could have been scored to R. Kelly music.)
As visually impressive as it is, Along Came the Devil unfortunately has a story that’s not only bloodless and monotonous but also seemingly fails to have a proper ending — yet another important thing the filmmakers forgot to lift from a better, more terrifying movie.