Saturday, 13 July 2013
Inside (aka À l'intérieur) has to be one of the greatest achievements in French horror cinema, opening up the worlds eyes to just how well the French make horror movies. It is a mean spirited, nasty and blood soaked film, complete with brilliant acting, beautifully gory set pieces and a story which manages to grip you so tightly, that it doesn't ever want to let go. It is filled with so much suspense, that it even gives the great Alfred Hitchcock a run for his money. The film really is that good.
Four months after she was in a car accident that caused the death of her husband, Sarah is tormented in her own home by a woman who wants her unborn baby, and she will stop at nothing to get it, murdering anyone who comes to the residence without a trace of remorse.
The set up of the movie is fantastic. Isolating Sarah in her own home, as well as establishing her character works in the movies favor, and allows it to get straight to the horrific action. The woman who stalks Sarah, who is only known as La Femme, is intriguing as well as vicious and scary. We know very little of her plight, other than she wants Sarah's baby. The first glimpse of her through a window, smoking a cigarette is almost spectral, and she moves ghost-like with hardly a sound through the house, before bursting into a psychopathic rage. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" has never been more apt than it is here, as La Femme stops at nothing to get at Sarah, and Sarah does what she can to defend herself and her unborn baby.
The arrivals of visitors to the house are handled beautifully, and increase the tension to unbearable levels. We know La Femme is in the house, and we see how dangerous and vicious she is, but will she be able to dispatch everyone who enters? The murders are shocking, never laughable and always extremely brutal. This isn't a film to watch if you are expecting a splat-stick movie, or a light hearted gore-fest, as everything is played to shock and disgust the viewer. I would say it is even more downbeat in every respect than Martyrs, which still stands as one of the most dark and depressing pieces of cinema I have ever watched.
Inside proves in every respect that a gore filled movie can also have an intriguing story, be beautifully shot and have incredible actors. Absolutely everything about the movie works. The graphic gore, the shock sequences and the heart breaking ending. It all comes together to create one of the most brutal, powerful horror films of the last ten years.
If you enjoy being disturbed, sickened and shocked, as well as being put through an emotional wringer, then Inside is definitely a movie for you. The power it evokes, the violence and performances are so spectacular, that any movie you watch afterwards will seem rather tame in comparison, at least until the movie begins to fade from your memory. But that in itself is a task, as everything that happens, the pain Sarah and her unborn child go through, is so explicit, the emotion so wrought and the fear so great that the movie really does never let go of you. That really is horror done right.