Directed by Eoin Macken
Distributed by Revolver Entertainment
Let’s see, where was I? Oh yeah, aisle 6 has allergy medication, Band-Aids and aspirin. Moving on to aisle 7 – AHA! Anti-nausea pills… I’m going to pop these things like they were Tic Tacs, especially after the torturous activity that my stomach has gone through during and after watching The Inside, a film from director Eoin Macken, who apparently has a VERY favorable opinion towards motion sickness and the effects of dishing it out in large quantities to the unsuspecting viewer.
Added to the extensive totality that is the unrelenting, front seat point-of-view ocular assault called “found footage,” there is an appropriate sprinkling of just enough illogical action from the characters in this film, giving you a solid haymaker to your temple as you bend over attempting to cement yourself on solid ground, all the while wishing that the damn spinning would cease in your breadbasket.
The most troubling thing about this particular film, you ask? Here’s the kicker: drop the first-person shaky-cam garbage and scale back on the incessant screaming from the female cast members, and you’d probably have a halfway decent presentation. Hell, I’ll even contend with the moronic actions of the characters. Take my hand as I lead us all to the anatomization of a movie that defines the term “missed opportunity.”
The premise is as simple to read as the liner notes in your favorite Michael McDonald CD (come on, you know you dig the guy). A man wanders into a pawn shop with the hope of scoring some greenbacks for a wedding ring he’s trying to unload. The clerk offers him a paltry amount plus a video camera that was recently brought in off the street, and the man accepts. We then witness (through the viewfinder) the events that unfold when a group of friends are attacked at a birthday celebration and the aftermath.
Okay, problem #1: The five girls and their male counterpart come up with the ever-so-intelligent prospect of bypassing a restaurant or a nightclub or maybe even someone else’s home to let loose and revel in to celebrate one of their own’s name-day, instead opting to hang out in an abandoned apartment building. There’s only SO much that can be said for brainpower and the correct time frame in which to use it.
As the party moves along, tempers flare due to some over-imbibing, and it’s not long after when the bash is crashed by three transients (possible squatters), and our male event-organizer is beaten to death by one of the goons, leaving the women to fend for themselves. What happens next is a true test for those with weak stomachs and low tolerance for monotonous screaming. As the trio of tormentors commence their heinous behavior towards the birthday girl and her friends, the allowance of dizzying camera work and shrieking from the women is unrelenting – so much that I was begging for the scenes to speed along.
In the film’s second act a rather quick departure from the usual disturbing psychological thriller turns into a slow moving night-vision foray that deals with a supernatural force that begins to stalk all participants once the lights begin to dim in the apartment. One would hope that with a sudden turnaround in the storyline such as this one, the effort would be seamless and stable, but those hopes had gone swirling as soon as more of the shaky-cam and shouting marathon raged on – talk about disappointing.
What remains to be seen in the closing act is a deluge of nonsensical excitations that will make you question each and every turn – no one is ever willing to drop the damn camera regardless of peril, or maybe they should choose to NOT re-enter an area that proved hazardous to whoever just escaped it moments before.
As I said earlier, a missed opportunity is the most accurate description that I can muster in order to give this movie the caveat that it so rightly deserves. Aside from a few very brief jump scares and situational frights, it falls right in line with so many others that came before it… although the annoyance level was ramped up to unpardonable heights. If it’s true chills you’re after, I suggest walking the perimeter and completely bypassing The Inside altogether.