Sunday, October 23, 2011

À l'intérieur a.k.a. INSIDE (2007)

  Do you tire of the same old human fodder-filled teen slasher flicks?  Do you want to see an actual suspenseful, shocking, and gruesome "killer on the loose" movie that doesn't rely on the attractiveness of the cast or cheap gore gags?  Do you like foreign films?  If you answered yes to these question, then you are ready for 2007's French sleeper, À l'intérieur, or better known in the U.S. as, Inside.

  The movie starts off with a devastating car wreck from which a pregnant woman named Sarah is rushed to the hospital.  Four months later she awakes from a coma to find that she lost her husband in the crash, but their baby is about to be born on Christmas Day.  She goes home to prepare for her baby's delivery only to be stalked by a mysterious woman in black who will go to any homicidal length to steal Sarah's child.  Cue the Ace Of Base single "All that she wants"

  Inside is a perfect example of modern horror done right.   Horror fans will undoubtedly squirm with genuine feelings of unease and overwhelming dread at the grotesquely intense scenes of bodily harm, (and there are many) as well as the practical and painstakingly realistic special effects.  But what really  seals the deal is the oppressive force of the mood.  Juxtaposing while accentuating the brutal and horrific elements of this film, the cinematography of Inside, is an absolute breath of fresh air in the horror genre.  A bleak hazy atmosphere and a fevered sense of desperation hangs heavy throughout.  It's an unshakable foreboding ambiance that most modern filmmakers have unfortunately traded in for POV shaky cam shots and jump cuts every 1.5 seconds.  The minimal yet pulsing electronic score is very effective and fits the pacing perfectly.  Once Inside opens, it gains momentum at a very deliberate clip until it's running full steam ahead.  It moves relentlessly for the the last two thirds of it's duration until it slams to a jarring halt with one of the most horrific ending sequences in horror film history.

  I am glad that the folks at Dimension Extreme released this film a few years back, but I do have my scruples with the packaging (shown above) and the little or no promotional campaign.  The dvd cover art looks like a hurried photoshop project that makes Inside look like another vague but potentially gory slasher flick.  Inside definitely deserves better.  It has the potential to claim a spot in the annals of such slasher horror classics as Psycho, Peeping Tom, Dario Argento's giallos, Bill Lustig's Maniac, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer...  So if the you are tired of the pandering PG-13 rated psuedo-horror, and teen sex comedies thinly veiled as slasher flicks, then do yourself a favor and give Inside a spin.  It's a true horror film made for true horror fans.

Fun Facts about Inside:

Inside is part of the new wave of extreme horror films from France.  Other notable titles include, Frontier(s), Calvaire: the Ordeal, Martyrs, Them, and High Tension.

Inside was Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo's first time in the director's chair.

Director, Jaume Balagueró of (REC), has mentioned interest in remaking Inside. 

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