DVD Review: Inside
Studio: Dimension Extreme
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
Directed By: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
Cast: Alysson Paradis, Beatrice Dalle
Brutal As Hell Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Review By: Marc Patterson
Every person carries with them a weak spot, an inevitable chink in otherwise bulletproof armor. Mine is children. Let me qualify that a bit… I don’t like horror that involves children, more specifically babies. Maybe it’s because I’m a dad. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter. The point is because of this Inside sat on my desk for a time no shorter than three weeks before I was able to pick it up and pop it in the DVD player, but damn, am I glad I did.
Inside is a fairly simplistic tale of Sarah (Alysson Paradis), an expectant mother to be, and a photojournalist who after a nasty car accident loses her husband, but manages to keep her pregnancy. The story picks up late in her term, where on Christmas Eve she is alone at home, and a stranger comes calling to her door asking for help. The intensity level explodes when it is revealed that this strange woman outside not only knows who Sarah is, but knows all about her.
Sarah calls the police and the woman disappears, only to find her return later in the evening and quietly break in. Sarah awakes to discover the woman about to perform a vicious C-Section on her with a pair of sewing scissors. From this point on we are locked in a fierce battle as the attacker relentlessly launches assault after assault upon Sarah, who desperately tries to defend herself and her unborn child (mainly by locking herself in the bathroom) until she is able to make the tables turn.
Holy crap! What a riveting film this was. No bones about it. Inside proved to be gut churning, suspenseful, and bloody as all hell. The level of gore was nothing short of astounding. Inside also proved to be a massive breath of fresh air for a genre that so easily becomes stagnated in formulated mediocrity. The simplistic beauty of the film is the ease with which we, as the audience, emotionally attach ourselves towards the heroine, who struggles to bear her child as a recent widow, who has few friends, and little family. Ultimately, this sad empathy that we experience for this woman allows the director to place us exactly where he wants us, in a state of sheer horror at what is about to unfold.
Inside isn’t without problems though. About halfway in, the story starts to dissolve into a bit of ridiculousness. When the police enter the house, by all means the film should have been wrapped up and done. When the arrest goes awry, and not one officer calls for help or backup, you start to feel your eyes rolling as you succumb to the reality that you’ve very likely descended into the ludicrous nature of any given slasher flick that defies reason or logic. To its credit, a couple quick twists and turns put the film back on course and the director manages to pull in the reins, keeping the tension plausible and believable to the last frame, even if we’re not totally on board with this being some sort of “true crime” horror flick.
Packaging wise, the DVD extras are pretty sparse. There’s a standard making of featurette, and a trailer. Nothing fabulous, but truly you’re here for the feature, and not the extras anyway.
When it comes down to the ever important bottom line, with some better writing this could have easily been a gripping four star film. Nevertheless, it’s an important release from a country that is progressively putting out more and more quality genre pieces and comes highly recommended.