One teenage character in Along Came the Devil asks another if they've seen The Exorcist. The answer is "no," which seems to be what the filmmakers hope the young audience they're going after would also say, since this new flick rips off everything from that horror classic -- except the pea soup, the head-turning and the crucifix in the hoo-hah.
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, it seemingly fails to have a proper ending -- yet another important thing the filmmakers forgot to lift from a better, more terrifying movie.