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Four months after pregnant Sara loses her husband in a horrific auto accident, she is visited on Christmas Eve by a mysterious madwoman. Alone and desperate to save her unborn child, Sara fights to stay alive as each of her potential rescuers die at the womans sadistic hands.
Hailed by several critics as the first great French horror film this millennium, Inside opens on a gory note and stays true to the bloodfest throughout. But rather than using splatter-gore for comedic effect, as did young directing team Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo's predecessor, Hershell Gordon-Lewis, this duo timed their gore to build tragic suspense, scene after disgusting scene. The strength of Inside's plot is its simplicity, though the film is slow at first. Pregnant photojournalist, Sarah Scaragato (Alysson Paradis), has just lost her husband in a fatal car accident and is in recovery when her baby is due on Christmas Eve, in fact. Morose, she rejects friend and family visits, opting to stay home. A bewitched predator, played by Beatrice Dalle, senses Sarah's vulnerability and seizes upon it like a spider capturing prey in its web. The tale, woven around maternal psychosis, reveals Dalle's haunting preoccupation with stealing Scaragato's unborn baby. Each character who enters Sarah's house, the "war zone" as one doomed policeman puts it, encounters the wrath of two women fighting with mirror shards, knitting needles, scissors, hurled kitchen appliances, and even a homemade bayonette. Like the best horror thrillers about motherhood---Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now, Alien---Inside seizes ample symbolic opportunities to exhibit the primal obsession women have with babies. Even better, Inside invites feminist critique as do other female-centric horror films such as Ginger Snaps, whose plots not only include strong, vengeful female victims, but also sympathetic, criminal femme fatales. An entertaining "Making of Inside" featurette follows, revealing makeup and special effects techniques. Inside is for a specific audience; as scenes get redder and wetter, the squeamish may find it sickening---beware and enjoy. Trinie Dalton
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I have to agree with the reviewer in this magazine. INSIDE is unbelieveably sick and gory for a mainstream horror film.
Newspaper photographer Sarah is far advanced in pregnancy, but depressed nonetheless, as her husband was killed in a car crash some months ago. She is about to spend a lonely Christmas Eve at home, when a black clad woman threatens her. Sarah calls the police, who can find no trace of the female intruder. The cops leave and Sarah goes to sleep. Her nightmare is only just beginning, as the black clad intruder returns, hell bent to cut Sarah's baby out of her womb...
I will not go into more detail here, but only assure you that it is highly unlikely that you will get to watch an equally gory and disturbing film anytime soon. The movie is sooo sick it beggars belief. And I am an avid fan of horror and gore, of extreme movies of all kind.
The pregnancy of Sarah adds enormous to the unpleasantness. We even get to see the agony of the fetus in the womb! I have not seen something like that before!
And rarely have I seen such insane bloodshed in a film...
INSIDE is no cheapo direct-to-video trash, where rivers of blood should make up for basement production values and gross splatter special effects are laughable due to lack of funds.
No way. INSIDE is a decently budgeted film with top league actors. Beatrice DALLE who plays the vicous killer is an accomplished actress with starring credits in lots of arthouse movies. She may not be a household name in the United States, but DALLE is well known in Europe.
As for the final plot twist and the female killer's identity and motivation (I won't give it away, so don't worry!) I have to say that it did not really surprise me and I am sure that most viewers will expect something of its kind.
Cinematography and score are exceptional and add enormous to the grim athmosphere. The fact that almost the entire movie (except for the lethal car accident and a few scenes in the hospital at the beginning) takes place in Sarah's house (in just a couple of rooms to be precise) give a tense feeling of hopelessness. The close quarters are very cleverly utilized for maximum shock effect.
INSIDE also has some political subtext (if you will), as there are references to the recent mass riots; the cops who return to Sarah's house to check on her, come with an arrested rioter in tow.
Not just in this regard INSIDE reminds one of FRONTIER(S), the
other extreme French horror film (which also has a pregnant heroine!).
As for special features there is the trailer, which sells the film well, and a making-of. The latter runs about 50 minutes or so. I found it very interesting. Beatrice DALLE, Alysson PARADIS and other actors comment on their respective roles and the shot. Both DALLE and PARADIS come across as very likeable women, who had much fun during filming. Much attention is given to the special effects and how they were accomplished. Almost all of the F/X were physical (makeup, props, etc), thankfully there is very very little of the damned computer effects (just a CGI enhanced shot in the head).
This great terror movie comes with the highest recommendation. One last comment: If you like INSIDE, you have to check out the other recent French terror flick, FRONTIER(S) ! It is more conventional and slightly less gory than INSIDE, and while FRONTIER(S) is not exactly a feel good movie either it is not the relentless nihilistic descent into hell like INSIDE. (I still prefer FRONTIER(S).) Anyway, fans of extreme horror need both!