OCTOBER 17, 2007
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):
What say you?