Inside (aka À l'intérieur) (2007)

OCTOBER 17, 2007

GENRE: FRENCH, SURVIVAL
SOURCE: THEATRICAL (SCREAMFEST LA)

Goddamn, holy asschristing shit, FUCK this movie is great. Inside (aka À l'intérieur) concerns a pregnant woman going through some seriously violent and fucked up shit on Christmas Eve in her own home, which is a pretty disturbing scenario. And being that I am not a woman, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, I cannot even begin to comprehend how gut-wrenching this film must be for pregnant viewers.

Since it’s not out yet (and I think it’s going direct to video in the states, typical), I can’t expect folks to have seen it, so I won’t spoil anything in this review. It’s definitely a film that will exponentially improve in your eyes with regards to how much you know about it beforehand. Hell, I thought it was going to be some sort of Rosemary’s Baby/Shock type film, so I was certainly in for a surprise.

Right off the bat I knew this one was going to be something memorable – we see the impact of a car accident from inside the womb, and then a truly great visual gag – a broken, bloody, mangled windshield wiper still running after the impact. Creative, horrific visuals mixed with pitch black yet understated humor? Ah, the French! The rest of the film is more or less a cat and mouse game between two women, and with the exception of an occasionally overbearing score, the film is executed as brilliantly and flawlessly as any horror film I have seen in many a moon. Or sun for that matter. Writer-director Alexandre Bustillo and co-director Julien Maury (lot of co-directing in horror these days...) have made a debut that ranks with Texas Chain Saw or Last House On The Left as one of the all time great freshman efforts, and the announcement that they will be tackling the Hellraiser remake (a film I've never really loved anyway) is fantastic news, as I truly believe they can make something truly great with the story (as long as Dimension leaves them the fuck alone, which is of course, unlikely).

However, this IS a French film, which means something occurs near the very end that threatens to ruin the entire movie. Luckily, it’s nowhere near as crippling as High Tension’s twist (which gets easier to digest with subsequent viewings), and there is even meaning behind this brief scene (it involves a 3rd character, which is all I will say); but I just wish they had come up with a better way to get the point across. Still, the 80+ minutes before it are so great (better than High Tension was even before its twist), it’s easy to forgive.

This may also be one of the most gruesome films (not counting intentional splatterfests like Dead Alive) I have ever seen. The body count isn’t particularly high, but the amount of bloodshed that results from these deaths (not to mention the amount of injuries inflicted on the two leads) is insanely high, yet fairly grounded in reality, making it all the more disturbing. Again, this is NOT a movie you will applaud and cheer at during/after the kill scenes.

What’s really surprising is how many people loved the film. Walking out of the screening, I talked to many of my fellow horror fans and everyone was universally praising the film. For a movie this extreme and disturbing, you expect some would be totally turned off by it, plus the folks who just automatically dislike a movie other folks like just to be contrarian. A few others grumbled about the same thing I did (though I was alone in my criticism of the screeching score), but even that wasn’t a problem for a lot of the other guys. Two gents in particular, whom I almost NEVER agree with on horror movies (for examples, one liked the Halloween remake, another thinks The Roost is one of the scariest films ever made), both loved it as much as I do.

Hahahaha, how fucked up are we as human beings: Remake Halloween with rednecks, divide the horror community; but stab a pregnant woman in her belly button, and everyone unites!

There is some irony that this is currently tied with Hatchet as my favorite horror movie of the year: Before any screening of Hatchet that Adam Green was in attendance for, he pointed out that Hatchet was a fun horror movie; that seeing women being tortured and beaten was not fun and he didn’t want any part of it. Inside is exactly the type of movie Hatchet worked (and succeeded) to rebel against, yet it’s equally effective in the grand scheme of things. Sure there are occasional moments that serve to break the tension, but for the most part, Inside is most definitely NOT a fun film to watch. It’s brutal, intense, and graphic. And great. Do whatever you have to see this film.

I know I said in the FAQ that I don’t grade my write-ups because they aren’t really reviews, but I’ll make an exception here (especially after I was just accused of “hating” 30 Days of Night because I didn’t spend the whole review sucking the film off):

Inside: A.

What say you?

18 comments:

  1. asschristing shit made me laugh so hard. but i'm so so excited to see this movie, i honestly cannot wait! your review isn't helping much :]

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  2. Hahaha.

    I am hoping to get 'asschristing' into the lexicon....

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  3. i am excited for this!

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  4. I am dying to see this, been waiting months! Also, Frontiere(s)

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  5. I just watched it and thought it was one of the best horror movies I've seen recently. The twist was surprising, the acting great but the gore... oh man the gore was gruesome AS HELL. I didn't quite understand the third character, maybe I just didn't get it and I should watch it again. But why was that person doing that thing? (wow, can a sentence be more confusing??) But really, I'd like to know! I don't check your board regularly so can you mail me the answer? t.koomen@live.nl THanks!!

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  6. Not good, just disgusting. Also it has too many not so logical situations (How she...Why she...Why they...Why she-again, and so on).
    High Tension is better because only the ending is stupid

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  7. More terror than horror, this movie left me depressed and haunted by some very strong visceral images (not only gory). For half an hour afterwards I wasn't able to do anything but sit in my chair and gaze into the screen of my tv. Left me with the same bleak aftermath that movies like TCM I/II, Maniac, Deranged, The Beyond etc. gave me.

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  8. hahah
    wow..now trying to get my wife who wants a kid soon to watch this is going to be hell..but i will eventually..

    Hatchet was good huh? damn..you are hurting my bank account making me buy all these good reviewed movies.

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  9. ******WARNING!!! SPOILERS!!!! SPOILERS!!!.. as well as LONG-WINDED, SLIGHTLY CONFLICTING OPINION OF MUCH LOVED FILM!!!! WARNING!!!!! SPOILERS!!!*****

    First let me say that overall, I enjoyed Inside. But awww MAN!! Now I have to go and be "that guy". Why? Because I was SO looking forward to seeing this and I really wanted to love it, but little things about it kept bugging me and keeping me from loving it as much as everyone else did (and I SWEAR I'm not just being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian .. not my fighting style, kids).

    I agree that maybe my reaction would have been different in a crowded theater, with no expectations or information going into the film, but like an earlier poster wrote, too many "how'd she..?"s and "why would she..?"s and "why wouldn't they..?"s kept coming up. Character decisions that made the movie more laughable than scary or tense for me at times.

    But first, at the risk of seeming like I'm trying to apply some absurd French-stereotype to my reaction to the film, did it bother anyone else that pretty much every character (even, if not especially, the protagonist!) is almost completely unlikable? Sure she's already been through hell at the beginning of the movie, but come on, I'm starting to think she'd be all alone on Christmas Eve even if she didn't chose to be. Now it's possible the American overdubbing in the version I saw was partly to blame for some of the needless bitchiness, but not all of it...

    While maybe not needlessly rude, other characters just seemed (extra-)stupid. First let me stress that I love horror movies at least as much as anyone reading this, so I realize stupidity and irrationality have to be forgiven in characters even in the best examples of the genre, but some of the decisions the characters made here just negated any empathy I would have had for them otherwise.

    ...Dude, you really thought that woman was old enough to be her mother? ...(hell, maybe she does. According to IMDB, Béatrice Dalle is 18 years older than Alysson Paradis, but I still would have believed the mistaken identity more if there'd been some comment about her looking "too young to be a grandmother" or something..I digress...)

    ..and Buddy, you're sure you wanna keep that guy handcuffed to you and not just handcuffed in the cruiser?...okay..suit yourself.. oh, and now that you're eyes are stabbed out it's great that you can walk downstairs and directly to the fuse box, but then also just assume the woman you turn to beat the shit out of is the crazy one and not possibly the pregnant one...nice, bro..


    As for the crazy lady...Scissors?! Really!? That's what you chose to bring!? Or, if you picked them up at the house and I just missed it, why not a knife from the kitchen? (Then again, to play devil's advocate, one could argue the that scissors are preferable to a knife since they can be angled so as to better keep from stabbing junior in the face while cutting Mommy open...but I still think I would have preferred an x-acto knife or something. Oh god! Maybe I AM just being contrarian!..Nah..)

    If not the scissor... that DRESS?! Come on! Sure it looks creepy, but was that your main objective when picking out a home-invasion/fetus-stealing outfit? Seems like you'd assume that shit would just slow you down somewhere along the way..

    The twist didn't bother me that much, but knowing there was going to be a twist beforehand, did help me predict and narrow it down to:

    A) the "crazy lady lost a baby and somehow blames the pregnant, bitchy lady"-option, or..

    B)..some sort of "the now-dead father was having an affair with the crazy lady and she feels his seed is rightfully her's"-option.

    Lastly, the gore. Yes, it was intense and brutal and all I expected...and I was definitely impressed on a technical level.

    But I am going to rewatch Inside and, in all honestly, will probably enjoy it more now that I've gotten my lofty expectations out of the way.

    Let's just hope they don't do an American remake like they're doing with Ils. Although The Strangers looks like it might have potential, I won't be able to stomach France being Hollywood's new Japan. NOOOOO!!!!

    My money's on them casting Angelina Jolie and renaming it Womb Raider (rimshot!)

    Thank you
    -Ben

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  10. Comment might be a couple days late but still...
    Think about the emotional and physical stress when he hits the heroine. He was fine down by the fuse originally; made his way up then that.
    I agree on the why didn't this or that happen, guns were everywhere and on their persons more or less yet they still didn't use them. And the handcuffs...yes
    The scissors make sense though considering. And I must say that after drinking some beers the final "birthing scene" made me go make sure I was not gonna throatfinger later.
    Great Movie

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  11. Inside definitely had its moments, but altogether I just couldn't roll with this. This film had a major case of the stupids. What cop wouldn't call for backup when they hear shots? What cop would want to be handcuffed to a whining prisoner when going into a dangerous situation? Why didn't the cops immediately handcuff the intruder when they first found her? Also, I smelled that twist coming from the beginning. Plus, CGI baby shots?

    I also found the thing a little too close to home being a first-time expectant dad. The brutality just was a bit too much.

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  12. The only thing I don't agree with you on is that this movie is in fact 'fun'. It had me commenting out loud while I watched was by myself. Flicks like this need to come out way more often.

    Frontier(s) was brutal and raw but lacked in the kick ass department and it felt like a re-hash of the whole Hoste, Tourista craze. Inside kept away from the torure por, but delivered the goods regardless.

    Best movie I have seen in a dog's age and i think it will be while before another movie has me so pumped.

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  13. Great review! I couldn't agree more. INSIDE was one of the most intense, nerve-wracking movies I've seen in a long time . . . and "La Femme" might just be the scariest horror movie villain since Michael Myers in J.C's HALLOWEEN, IMO . . . .

    This one could very well end up being on my Favorites of All Time list. We'll see.


    J.N.

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  14. Hey, thanks for weeding through the barrage of foreign horror films that have recently populated the shelves at my local video store. Just the fact that I recognize all of these box covers as being at my local video store makes me pretty darn happy after reading all your rants about Blockbuster.

    P.S. I gave up the Blockbuster card years ago when they turned me into a debit collector for past due fees on a movie that was sitting on their shelf...an incompetent employee never checked it back in.

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  15. I finally got around to watching this and I think reading your review built it up a bit too much. It was SO much better than your average flick, not the same formula we are used to seeing, but it did not blow me away (like “The Strangers”). One thing that really bugged me (a minor detail) was that she had time to develop a roll of film while crazy Béatrice Dalle was looming outside (in her goth Stevie Nicks outfit), not to mention the chemicals involved.

    The twist was good, but even better was that the film did not take the usual turn in the end. After being stabbed, cut, beaten (not to mention VERY pregnant!) and looking like a rogue cast member from "The Decent," there is that "I'm going to kick some ass" glare in the main character's eyes. Yet even after kicking some ass, she still does not make it. Nice. There was not one character I cared about and being that the final girl formula did not apply to this movie, I guess it's a non-issue.

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  16. i loved this film. yes it has it's flaws and a couple of goofs, but enjoyable.**SPOILER** how the fuck did that baby survive all that trauma?????


    i like these french and spanish films better then the regurgitated ghostly kid japanese films.

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  17. "My money's on them casting Angelina Jolie and renaming it Womb Raider."

    LOOOL! Dude, you made my day with that one!

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  18. *SPOILER* Over all, I agree with your review- except for the injuries to the female leads. Didn't love the French madwoman getting set on fire and then delivering and carrying the baby all calmly. You don't have a FACE anymore. That's pretty illogical.

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