Friday, June 10, 2011

150 Days of Halloween: Inside

If you are following along at home, and I know one person who is, then I'm sorry for what I just put you through. Following up the unique experience that was Martyrs with Inside was a disservice to the films as well as to the viewers.

Inside, like Martyrs, is another French horror movie with a preoccupation for closeup and unflinching violence. Unlike Martyrs, the violence and situations found here often come across as contrived or unnecessary.
"Actually, that would be In-between right there."
This is now the second movie on the list thus far to open with a car crash that colors the rest of the film. A voice over is heard addressing an in utero fetus, when suddenly a crash is heard and the fetus jerks violently with the impact. The scene changes to reveal a pregnant woman slowly regaining consciousness and the dead husband beside her. Much like The Descent we find the woman recovered later on, but now withdrawn and visibly traumatized by the event. She makes plans for her birth, which should either happen naturally very soon, or will be induced the next day, and heads home.

What follows is a home invasion and a number of grisly deaths, but nothing new or exciting. You get the standard fare for home invasion horror movies, friends and family visit and don't know something is wrong until its too late, bumbling police who have never heard of standard procedure before, and plenty of scenes behind locked doors. Martyrs frustrated me because it preyed upon my expectations, and when it was all done and said I loved the movie for manipulating me like it did. Inside frustrated me for never coloring outside the lines. Nothing caught me off guard or broke away from the norm found in so many movies found before it, at times I was lazily announcing the next event in the film like some couch bound psychic.

"Oh god! Is that a hand? Thank god I radioed in my location... oh wait. Shit."
Not much more to say really, which is fairly telling regarding the movie. Its a tired setting dressed up in the ol' ultra violence, which just seems unnecessarily excessive when it lacks any foothold for substance. Gore purely for gores sake, to gross you out. Make no mistake, Dead Alive is on the list and a much loved movie of mine, so I have no problem with gore. I just expected more out of Inside. The movie is built entirely on the flimsy foundation that the protagonist is pregnant, the movie knows its all it has going for it is that one feature. This ultimately only serves as a disservice to the film, making the twist/reveal ending painfully obvious from as early as the end of act one, and really drawing attention to the fact that the movie really wants you to be impressed with its gore.

I feel kind of dirty, usually I'm the one defending movies against the label of torture porn. Explaining the merits behind movies like Hostel or Saw, sometimes those merits are few and far between, but they often bring something unique to the table besides gore. Inside didn't bring anything new to the table for me, didn't shake anything up or ingrain itself in my memory. The pregnancy hook could have made it great, but the female lead seldom seems hampered or even overly concerned with her pregnancy. You know they missed the mark when Jaume Balagueró plans to make a remake of your movie and announces to everyone that his only planned changes are to, "accent the terror of the pregnancy situation more than the gore." He understands the movie could have been intense and truly anxiety inducing, he sees the potential they failed to reach.

"WHAT?! How did you make this mess?! I CAN SEE YOU BEHIND THE SINK YOUNG LADY!"
An ultra violent but ultimately bland movie that fails to capitalize on its one unique feature. Tomorrow should be fun, the universally panned disaster of Stay Alive! A movie about killer video games that spawned some of the best movie reviews I have ever read. If your curious about past reviews or future movie dates, then check out the full list of The 150 Days of Halloween.


  1. Damn the final picture is hot. They must'tve paid a lot of attention to all those blood splatter and dry blood. It's quite riveting to see such white, clean bathroom defiled so.

  2. horrifying pictures you have there^^

  3. It's so hard to get that right mix of violence that isn't so over the top, that it becomes ridiculous, unless you are Tarantino that is.

  4. nice review. seems like a type of film i'd watch

  5. Ha ha sounds like a pretty wild movie but i am really prone to nightmares so I think I will have to skip this one :)

    Thank you for the good review though! Was certainly a good read!

  6. I don't like when they just put horror scenes for the sake of it, gotta have some meaning.

  7. I don't think I'd be able to watch this :(

  8. this movie looks pretty awesome =D

  9. Here are some things i liked about this film:
    1. The killer was wearing a really pretty dress
    2. The killer in a very pretty dress without pockets managed to miraculously store scissors, cigarettes and a lighter. Also her makeup changed drastically throughout the movie.
    3. The killer (I swear it happened!) wore high heel shoes for one of the final scenes in the movie (but not the other ones)
    But in all seriousness, there is something i liked about this movie ... and that is the still shots. I was aesthetically quite pleasing, the shot of the girl on the bed, the shot with the killer on top, the one with the baby and some other ones. those were pretty cool.

    also, Chris, i missed the beginning.... do they explain in any way her choice of weapon? it seems very significant because she won't use anything else, but whyyyy