Reviewed by Andrew Kasch
Starring Beatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis, Nathalie Roussel
Directed by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury
The French sure have a thing for the red stuff. In recent years, it seems like the country has been paving the way for stylized slashers with films like High Tension, They, and Frontiere(s) gaining worldwide attention and cult status.
Inside makes all of them look like rank amateurs.
To call this the most visceral slasher film of all time is an extreme understatement. Birthed in the minds of two twisted individuals, Inside is a masterwork of horror so savage and disturbing, I’m careful who to recommend it to. One thing’s for sure: Hollywood won’t be remaking this anytime soon.
After losing her husband in a car crash, Sarah (Paradis) is alone and pregnant on Christmas Eve. Due in for labor the next day, she faces a long evening of dark thoughts; a night made worse when a mysterious woman (Dalle) breaks into her home. Brandishing a pair of scissors, all she wants is Sarah’s baby and she’ll go to any lengths to get it. What follows is the bloodiest fight for survival you could ever imagine, with several unsuspecting visitors caught in the mix.
Inside can best be described as cinematic rape. There’s nothing sexual going on here, but directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury force themselves onto your psyche and make you endure things that are incredibly hard to take. This is material so brutal and unflinching, just viewing it could cause a miscarriage. At the same time, you can’t dismiss Inside as simple exploitation or torture porn, which is what makes it that much harder to take. The film may be cruel, but it’s executed with pure artistry. Haunting images carry their own grotesque beauty and there is real emotional depth anchored by a pair of powerhouse performances from the dueling ladies.
To say anything more would be criminal. Though it follows on the heels of several blood-soaked home invasion movies, Inside has more than enough to stun even the most jaded horror fan. The film isn’t perfect, with a few lapses in logic as well as a last act half-baked twist (nowhere near as ludicrous as High Tension’s bullshit, thankfully) but these seem like minor nit-picks when compared to the sheer power of this film.
Clive Barker recently chose this team for the remake of Hellraiser and after viewing Inside, it’s easy to see why. I can think of no one more appropriate to re-imagine and improve on the material than the rogues behind this film. But is the rest of the world ready?
4 1/2 out of 5
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