Throwback Thursday Review: “Inside” (2007)



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Posted August 4, 2016 by

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There were a slew of good to great, French, horror films, in the first decade of this century. Films like “Martyrs”, “Haute Tension”, and “Trouble Every Day” all melted my brains, the first time I saw them, and remain on my top horror films of the 2000s list. Another bloody, horror masterpiece to come out of France, “Inside”, was released in 2007, and introduced the world to gifted film makers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. The duo are currently working on the the Texas Chainsaw prequel “Leatherface” (which I cannot wait to see!), but let’s talk about the film that put them on the radar of every horror hound on the planet, and scared the crap out of me the first time I watched it.

Sarah (Paradis) is a young woman who, after losing her husband in a brutal car crash, has gone through a lonely, grief-filled pregnancy, and is one day away from having her baby. It is Christmas Eve, a joyous time of year to bring a child into the world, but Sarah has zero yuletide cheer. “I don’t give a shit about Christmas” she tells her boss (François-Régis Marchasson) “I would rather be alone.”. She gets her wish, and spends the evening by herself. That is until a strange woman knocks on her door, wanting to come in, to use the phone. Sarah is too clever for that though, and turns the woman away, but ,when the woman reveals that she knows all about Sarah’s situation and that she isn’t going anywhere until she gets what she wants, Sarah realizes that she and her baby are in grave danger. Once the woman finds a way to get into Sarah’s house, a bloody battle, between the two women, begins. The winner gets the baby.

Inside main“Inside” is a perfect example of a horror film that builds tension in waves. Maury and Bustillo use impressive cinematography, and a blend of brutal gore and a giallo-esque use of the macabre beauty of blood. The also do a great job at slowly building, to what you are almost certain will be a jump scare, and then easing up, letting your nerves relax, and THEN giving you the scare. It is a neat little trick that they have used in all of their films to date, and I am sure they will use, to great effect, in “Leatherface”.

Probably the thing that most impresses me, about “Inside” is how much is accomplished, with really only one location and a very straight forward story. Yes, there are multiple people who attempt to rescue Sarah (how do you think that turns out?), and there is a little twist at the end, but what the movie really is, is two women playing a bloody, slice and dice game of cat and mouse. Both Paradis and French film goddess Béatrice Dalle deliver tense, emotional performances. Performances that, although soaked in blood and fury, are quite beautiful to watch.

I cannot stress how brutally vicious a film “Inside” is. There is every kind of eyeball gouging, hand stabbing, brain blowing violence you can imagine. That is all well and good, but beneath all of the blood and intestines is a really well-crafted thriller. One that is right at the top of my “Oh… you need a scary movie recommendation?” list. Not to mention it might be my favorite Christmas horror movie ever. Now I just want to go find my copies of “Martyrs” and “Frontiers” so I can continue the gory goodness!




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