Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie Review: Inside (2007)

French pregnancy horror film INSIDE from 2007

Written by Alexandre Bustillo
Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

Alysson Paradis...Sarah
Béatrice Dalle...The Woman
François-Régis Marchasson...Jean-Pierre

This movie is quite possibly every pregnant woman's worst nightmare.

Imagine that you are Sarah, a very-pregnant news photographer who lost her husband in a horrific car accident four months ago. It's Christmas Eve, and at 6:00 tomorrow morning, you are scheduled to be admitted into the hospital to induce labor. You are so far into your grief, that you seem to have very little emotional attachment to the child inside you, much less anybody else in your life.

Then there's a knock on your door. You don't know the woman...but she knows you, and she wants you to let her in. When you refuse--and in fact call the police--she punches her fist through the window, just to let you know that she's not here for polite conversation.

The police arrive, but find nothing. They promise to check in later, but you know that they have their hands full. Not only is it the holiday season, but there are full-scale riots occurring elsewhere that demand their attention. When you finally feel safe enough to sleep, you take a pill or two and hit the sack.

You wake up in the middle of the night to find the woman--dressed like a velvet Gothic Lolita--standing over your exposed bulging belly, and it's not until she sterilizes the large cutting shears she's holding in her hands that you realize what she's after.

She wants your baby. And she plans on cutting it out of you.

Remember Takashi Miike's Audition, where the gorgeous (but insane) Asami pulls out all the stops in her torture session on her suitor? Well, it's quite a bit like that...only this loony tune isn't nearly as attractive, and the action is NON-STOP. These two women, armed with a laundry list of household items, bring the pain like you won't believe, and the blood and grue quotient is astounding. Not only that, but it looked great...meaning it looked terrible, because this is no pleasant film. It's a cross between a slasher film, the suspense drama, and torture porn. This is the kind of movie that Eli Roth should be making...but we all know that's not going to happen.

Inside should also be commended for the 'reaction shots' of the unborn child inside of the womb, nearly going so far as to make the child an actual character instead of just a prop or a plot device. This is something I've never seen before--and because it was so disturbing, I almost hope never to see again.

I can't even begin to describe the tension felt while watching this movie, upped quite effectively through the masterful use of illumination, shadow and flickering light, as well as a minimalist score that thrummed like a helicopter heartbeat at all the right moments. I was literally wide-eyed throughout most of the movie, shoulders bunched and hands clenched.

It's difficult to watch even as a man with no children, so if you're pregnant, ever plan on getting pregnant, or even have a loved one who is pregnant, I would strongly advise that you stay far, far away from this film. But for all other lovers of the genre who can stand the intensity that this movie brings, Dimension-Extreme's Inside is highly, highly recommended.

AKA: À l'intérieur

83 Minutes
French with English subtitles (English dubbing available)

Wow...Duck Tape really does fix anything!

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