Inside (À l'intérieur) (2007)

insideI don’t think I can named a modern horror film that’s come so close to classic Giallo as “Inside” has, and I don’t think you’ll really want to if you didn’t like “Inside.” Frankly, it’s one of the most vicious and cringe inducing horror thrillers made in years, and the fact it wasn’t given even a limited theatrical release, fills me with a thousand frowns and dark sunsets. Having kids is tough. It’s financially trying, stressful, and traumatizing. Especially when there’s a psychotic unstoppable killer who wants to tear it out of your stomach. “Inside” is a vicious slasher flick from minute one where we meet Sarah who has just had a car crash pretty much almost killing her baby, and that’s only a small moment of the torture this unborn child experiences, when Sarah goes on vacation to mourn her dead husband.

During Christmas night, La Femme appears at the door, knows who she is, and wants that belly bulge. Now it’s a war of woman to woman as Sarah, only hours away from giving birth, has to fight for both her and her son’s life as La Femme breaks into her home and begins wreaking bloody, gory, splatter house havoc on her and anyone who dares to interrupt the battle. Now my suspicion and worry for this was that Bustillo and Maury would try to pull a whammy over us with La Femme being the unborn child of Sarah, or her dead husband’s lover, but thankfully there’s no big twist beyond a reveal that’s logical and rather tragic. Not only does it add a great does of depth to the initial crash that brought Sarah to her predicament, but it creates one of the most terrifying villains ever created with the marvelous performance of Beatrice Dalle, who is unforgiving and merciless in her pursuit to literally dissect Sarah and steal her unborn son.

The directors don’t just apply gratuitous violence for the sake of shocking us as US directors have attempted, but instead make this violence a plot element that exemplifies the lengths La Femme will go through to steal this baby. “Inside” takes a short while to build up, but when it does, it’s an orgy of blood and guts with La Femme destroying men and women alike who attempt to help Sarah and only fall under her blade. She is nearly unstoppable in her strategy and Sarah tries and fails at every turn to escape the wrath of La Femme. The directors present an incredible visual style turning this grizzly concept into a splatterific thriller that will surely make even the most pleasant gore hound cower in disgust. So focused are the directors on bringing La Femme’s mission to a close, that they never appropriately close the film on a note that would seem coherent.

I had no idea what was happening most of the time during the final confrontation with the women, nor did I understand what the zombie-like individual attacking Sarah was there for until someone explained what occurred and pulled the pieces together. Just the same, “Inside” will prove very frustrating for viewers who will bear witness to some of the most inept characters ever created. When the light at the end of the tunnel is revealed in Sarah’s boss and mother who interrogate La Femme, they fail to watch their backs and suffer the consequences. Why would you turn your back on a person you’re sure is not supposed to be in your daughter’s house in the first place? And when help finally arrives in the form of three police officers and one prisoner, I was shocked to see how idiotic they were in apprehending La Femme, and failing with bloody results to keep her bound and at a safe distance.

While “Inside” was a win for the most part, these large lapses in logic are so frustrating, they almost pulled me out of the narrative and suspense. Writer Bustillo also succeeds in presenting a graying shade of character motivations hardly ever posing La Femme and Sarah and opposite spectrums of good and evil, but he does wrack up the searing tension as Sarah and La Femme battle while trying not to kill the baby in its mom’s stomach. “Inside” features the most shocking and utterly disturbing final moments ever filmed, with a final shot so eerily beautiful, it’s definitely worth more than a freaking DVD release. While it’s not a masterpiece, it’s definitely worth recommending. “Inside” is a really good movie, just not a great one. The second half makes almost no sense, and the characters are too stupid to endure, but all in all, I’d still say for a good scare, it’s worth a viewing.