Director: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury
Runtime – 82 minutes (uncut Dimension Extreme version)
Le Fabrique de Films, BR Films, Canal +, The Weinstein Company
One of the very first scenes entails a delicious slow motion capture of a recent devastating car crash. A spastic slapping windscreen wiper the only witness to the carnage. Startling cinematography on display equal to that of an artist at the top of his/her craft. Of especial note are lingering visuals of a fetus in utero abruptly jarred into a state of alarm. A scene vivid yet so utterly effective and shocking so early on in the feature alluding to a style that’s surprisingly fresh with an ‘out of the box’ mindset. Overall an excellent introduction to Sarah and her predicament, that of bringing a child into the world without a Father.
Sarah returns home following her doctor’s suggestion that she enjoy the last night of peace and quiet she will likely get for some time (little does he know how right in fact he is!). Her fears and concerns aren’t eased in the slightest by an irritating nurse who recalls a personal story, her first delivery, an incident thirteen hours in length cumulating in a still birth. The same nurse tops her tale off by lighting up as if to add an apathetic period.
While attempting to relax Sarah is awakened by a persistent knock at the door. An intrusive presence that builds in intensity as the film plays out.
As the aggressor is introduced, a wraithlike persona, the audience learns of their wicked intent and ninja-like skills/abilities. Beatrice Dalle (La Femme) admittedly steals every scene she’s in showcasing her acting chops as a character that at the very least is a chaotic/whirling dervish embodiment of madness, passion and determination wrapped in a smirking enigma.
Expert use of light, darkness and shadow leaves the viewer wondering as to their specific intentions however, all within chilling scenes that add to the level of intensity that continues to skyrocket as a game of ‘voyeur and tease’ is slowly drawn out graduating eventually into a ‘stalk and prey’ scenario. This game soon changes as unexpected visitors arrive, this is exactly the point in the film that the pace quickens and the brutality rating goes through the roof.
Highly appreciative is the fact that all of the SFX work is excellent, life like and not at all lackluster in quantity (the credits display just how surprisingly large the team were who were responsible). Supported by unflinching, lingering, camera work these are scenes that will appease any drooling gorehound sufficient enough to make this a film in its entirety that won’t - scratch that – “can’t” be forgotten in a hurry.
A highly effective score adds to the tension and feel of the movie. An electrifying, alarming and pulse pounding synth soundtrack that heightens the senses to a level rarely experienced add to that a plethora of in utero coverage of a fetus in disarray, often wide eyed startled and you have a movie that is virtually impossible to view if you are ‘expecting’. An amazing dream sequence, saturated in a gruesome thick crimson blanket, very early on tops this notion off and only adds to any fears an expectant Mother already suffers with.
To top it off its nigh impossible to forget quite possibly the most horrific birth scene set to celluloid one that includes the damn ugliest mid wife you could ever hope to (not) see, to make matters infinitely worse still she chooses to brandish tools of the utmost archaic/rudimentary nature for the matter at hand to make it appear as if she wasn’t prepared when in fact it’s more than obvious it was at the forefront of her mind the first time she stepped onto screen.
In conclusion Inside is a movie that demands/screams to be seen and talked about in wide ranging social circles afterwards. It’s a shocker, it will make an impression but better yet it was produced with expert attention to the smallest details to make anyone with a strong enough constitution want to recommend it.
Enthralling, thrilling and brutally unforgettable. It goes without mentioning this is another of my absolute faves.