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.
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.
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.
4 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5
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