Inside (DVD)

Inside DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Beatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis, Nathalie Roussel, François-Régis Marchasson, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin

Directed by Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo

Distributed by Dimension Extreme

Sometimes when you watch a movie, it sticks with you. Then sometimes a film can stick with you, kick your ass, prey upon your senses, and leave you shivering naked in a corner while pawing at the wall looking for a light switch. Inside did that for me, minus the nudity and electrical groping. It’s a film that goes further than common decency would dictate in a manner so unflinchingly brutal that the viewer is left slackjawed in a near state of shock. There’s no question this French import also known as À l’intérieur will make my best of the year list, but honestly? I’m not even sure whom I would recommend it to.

Let’s start at the beginning.

We meet Sarah (Paradis) bloodied and pregnant in a car wreck. Her significant other is slumped over dead and oozing beside her. Well, at least she and the baby survived. Fast forward a few months and we find ourselves on Christmas Eve. Sarah is set to have her labor induced the next day and is for the time being at home mourning the loss of her lover and enjoying her last few moments of golden silence. Motherhood is going to be hard, but not as hard as the next few hours that would come to pass. Sarah’s awakened from a quick snooze by a knocking at her front door. Someone’s outside demanding to be let in. A stranger. A woman who knows far more about our heroine’s situation than she should. Immediately Sarah rings up the police, but even that doesn’t phase our intruder. She stands there at the window watching the call being made, not budging until she lashes out in a hateful momentary fit of rage.

Inside DVD review (click for larger image)The cops come, but unfortunately the mystery woman is nowhere to be found. They leave, and Sarah heads to bed, unaware that her home has been invaded and the true danger is about to come from inside. What does this woman want? Simple — the baby. And she’s willing to do whatever she has to, no matter how insane, no matter how vile or evil, to get it.

This is not torture porn. Nor is it exploitation. But it is crammed with enough violence to easily fall into one of those categories. Simply put, this film is fucking crazed. Absolute claustrophobic chaos. Directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo have created a work so ferocious it’s a wonder that it is even seeing the light of day here in the States, and uncut to boot! Keep your eyes on these two, folks. Hopefully when they make their American film debut, it won’t be to direct a shitty remake of an Asian film like other French talent has been churning out.

Don’t be fooled; there’s more here than just the red stuff being splashed around with great vigor. This flick is shot in a hauntingly beautiful way with some truly amazing camera and lighting work. Better yet, even though the subject matter is extreme and gruesome, it’s never handled in a way so heavy-handed that it makes you miserable as scene rolls into scene. You won’t leave this movie in a bad mood or even sad. You’ll be thrilled, you’ll be yelling at the screen, and most of all, by the time the credits roll, you’ll feel as if you survived the world’s biggest train wreck. This film accomplishes what Haute Tension attempted and turns everything — minus a ludicrous twist ending — up to an ear-bleeding ten.

inside DVD review (click for larger image)Though as near to perfect as it gets, Inside does falter a bit here and there. Sometimes characters do stupid shit instead of just getting the fuck out of the house like anyone with half a brain would. It’s these few inconsistencies in logic that served to take me out of the mayhem, but thankfully I was never out for long. When all was said and done, there was nothing but a mushroom cloud left lingering in my brain, and Inside has haunted me for the last several days. I don’t think it will be leaving my mind any time soon either.

A film this good deserves a stellar DVD release, but unfortunately that’s not what it gets. There are only two special features to be found here: a near hour long making-of featurette and a trailer. I will say this though … the featurette was great, and coming in at an hour long? It’s almost like getting another feature in and of itself. Key word being almost. There had to be more! A commentary with subtitles? Anything? There would be no satisfaction this day. It was like getting thrown a pig-in-a-blanket instead of the steak dinner that you want. All that doesn’t matter though. Inside is a movie so good that if the DVD was bare bones, I’d still suggest buying it — that is, if you have the legs for it.

Here it is, folks. The quintessential home invasion movie. The single biggest reason you’ll be locking your house up tight after watching. This is not for the easily offended, not for the squeamish, and definitely not for the general public. If you’re willing to be led down a path so dark and disturbing that most wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole and you don’t mind subtitles (listening to dubbed English language tracks can really take away from the experience, but there’s one included so if that’s your thing — dig in), then, brother, click the link below, buy it, and strap yourself in.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette
  • Trailer


    4 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

    Discuss Inside in our Dread Central forums!

  • DreadCentral presents Box of Dread

    Box of Dread
    * US Residents Only
    • GODFLESH69

      Brutal flick just batshit crazy, the Frenchies are doing Horror right =CLASSIC!!!

    • vagrant_hippo

      Pretty much agree with review, and nice reference to Alexandre Aja (seriously, such a great talent being misused for campy remakes, THHE not included). In my mind, this film can’t be compared to other horror films, since it is just so far above and beyond what other horror films are nowadays. It was just an experience.

      And sorry, have to say here–why does everyone I talk to think Imprint was so hard to watch? I literally had no trouble with it whatsoever, and was surprised to find out it had been banned.

      This film, however–I couldn’t even control my breathing during one or two scenes. Just flipping transcendent.

      (Oh, and they have it on Netflix now, unrated.)

    • Emy

      Thanks Woman in Black.

      A stop at the store on my way home on the 15th it is then.

    • Rorschach

      Cool…..thanks for the response, folks. I am always leery of stuff like that, now, since both IMPRINT and IRREVERSIBLE seemed to….almost scorch my soul in their sheer hideousness, and the pure vile nastiness of their content. I can handle strong stuff, but man, those two movies fucked with me something AWFUL.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Mephistopheles — I stand corrected. There is indeed an English track. My DVD player didn’t let me access it on the fly, it had to be done from the menu so that’s why I didn’t realize it was there. Good catch!

      Also, to touch upon your comments to Rorschach, you hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what I meant by my “it’s never handled in a way so heavy-handed that it makes you miserable as scene rolls into scene.” remark!

      Either way, like I said … if folks can handle the subject matter this movie rocks!

    • Mephistopheles

      Rorschach–there’s some nasty stuff but nothing as prolonged as the rape scene in Irreversible or the torture scene in Imprint. I suppose some will think different, but while disturbing, Inside wasn’t hard to watch for me.

    • Hunter1006

      AHHH it’s not on Netflix!

    • The Woman In Black

      You did misread it, Victor. The “ludicrous” twist was the one in HT, not Inside.

    • Victor Crowley

      Oh wait, did I misread that statement?

    • Victor Crowley

      I caught this when it was on 66stage.com and fucking loved it, and have already preordered the DVD from Amazon. Great review Creepy but I gotta say I disagree with where you said the twist is ludicrous. I mean, it’s definitely less farfetched than the one Haute Tension (which, even though I thought was completely unnecessary I still didn’t hate it). In fact I think it’s the only way they could have gone with it to actually give rhyme and reason to the fist-fucking of the viewer’s eyeballs that just took place.

    • Rorschach

      So tell me this: Is this thing as repugnant and un-rewatchable as IMPRINT or IRREVERSIBLE? Because I bought those, watched them once, and will never ever watch them again.

    • The Woman In Black

      It’ll be out on April 15th. Also, last we heard they were no longer attached to Hellraiser. Guess Inside was just too much for the powers-that-be to handle.

    • Emy

      So, this comes out when? I need it! Finally more French films!!!

      “Hopefully when they make their American film debut, it won’t be to direct a shitty remake of an Asian film like other French talent has been churning out.”

      I read on dvdrama, in their interview with both directors that they are set or almost set to direct the remake of Hellraiser… Yep a remake… They did say though that it was not all that final yet… So they might get a better treatment then Eric Valette got with his remake…

    • Uncle Creepy

      Hmmm… Let me check my copy again? Maybe I missed it?

    • Mephistopheles

      That’s weird. I got an early copy of this (Dimension Extreme’s version), and it DID have an English track. Wasn’t the best (“la femme”‘s voice was too normal) but it was alright.

      Did they take it off, or is this from an earlier copy? Either way, its pretty confusing for me.

    • ruffbuffy

      One of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos on so many good foreign movies coming out … a nice pace from the slew of remakes coming out of hollywood.

    • Cash Bailey

      Spot-on review, Creepy.

      I’m not too bothered about the lack of extras. This movie is so good you’re glad to just have it to watch over and over again.

    Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.