A.K.A. Chi sei? / The Devil Within Her
I was certainly expecting a more straight forward Exorcist rip-off than this. If one wants to call the film that, it's a rip-off by way of a considerable dose of Rosemary's Baby and The Omen. The only real demonic green pea-spittin' aspect is a (blatant) riff on the classic finale from Friedkin's film for the climax here. Besides that, I find it hard to dismiss the work of Assonitis and cast as only that. There are much worse offenders in the "aping trends" category.
Time is taken to flesh out the plight of the female lead's quickened devil semen pregnancy, her gradual possession, and the impact on her family. Though perhaps a little too much time as the story wants to hammer home what's obvious to the viewer from the start while mostly glossing over a few important points. Forgivable enough taking everything into account. Juliet Mills and Richard Johnson turn in sold performances, but the post dubbing of Gabriele Lavia as Mills' on-screen husband makes for a mechanical presence. Assonitis' direction is measured, manages some creepy scenes (like Mills floating out of her bedroom), and never feels quick to wrap merely to time a cash-in. I loved the atmospheric use of voice-over and imposing two shots over each other at certain times throughout. Franco Micalizzi classes up the joint with a layered score that's appropriately upbeat or gloomy depending on the mood.
Code Red did a fine job with the dense supplemental material including two commentaries (this Best Buy exclusive 2-DVD set has a shitty VHS-sourced theatrical version as well), but the transfer is no great shakes. Assonitis seems to have went with a soft focus here, but the picture looks far too hazy despite that. The presence of edge enhancement and subtle interlace artifacts also just further harms the image quality.