À l’intérieur or (Inside) is a French horror film that garnered a decent amount of recognition when it released back in 2007. At the time, it was thought to be a strong contributor to the “new wave” of French horror.
The opening of the film immediately sets the sombre tone as you witness a devastating car crash that leaves a pregnant woman (Sarah) fighting for her life while he husband clearly didn’t make it. Luckily, she survives and so does the baby but she’s naturally depressed about her loss which makes her question whether or not she wants to become a mother. She has support from those around her and plans to spend the next day (Christmas) with some close friends and family.
However, while at home that night she is stalked by a creepy looking woman who menacingly peers at her through a window after attempting to talk her way into the house. Sarah uses the flash of her camera to get a better look at the figure and manages to get a couple of photos as well. She does the smart thing and calls the police who search the grounds but find nothing. They assure her that they will return in a couple of hours to check on her which Sarah deems satisfactory. Unbeknownst to them, the evil looking woman has been let into the house and continues to stalk Sarah throughout the night.
I really enjoyed this part of the film; the ways in which the woman drifts quietly into the shadows is very unnerving.
Upon developing her photo, Sarah recognizes the woman in the background of an earlier photo she had taken, indicating she was stalking Sarah. Sarah telephones her employer, asking to have the photos enhanced. As she goes to bed, the woman arrives in the bedroom, awakening Sarah with scissors puncturing her pregnant belly. Sarah fights the visitor off and locks herself in the bathroom, where the woman tries to gain entry. The woman makes clear that her intentions are to take Sarah’s child for herself.
That’s just the start of what will become an absolute nightmare for Sarah and anybody that has ever been pregnant.
The one word that comes to mind when thinking of a way of describing this horror movie is brutal, it’s simply brutal. Gore hounds will undoubtedly get their desired levels of blood & carnage. The effects used throughout are a little bit hit and miss to be honest. At times it can look quite cheap while on other occasions it can look phenomenal.
There is one particular scene near the end of the flick involving a pair of scissors, it’s a freaking doozy. Heads explode, throats are slit, so forth and it’s done in a very flashy/in your face kind of way like it’s trying a bit too hard to shock or disgust.
Inside takes place entirely in one location after the introduction that being Sarah’s home. It’s frustratingly hard to see at times with low lighting hampering more than a couple of scenes.
That may seem like a fairly minor complaint, well here is a major one. The characters in the film are some of the dumbest I have ever witnessed in a movie that is taking itself very seriously. Sarah does manage to escape her tormentor a couple of times but somehow fails to escape the house. I know she is pregnant and has suffered greatly but having a nap? Putting a gun down next to her while she has a lay down? Come on now.
Later, the police return as promised and are portrayed as the biggest bunch of the clowns. One officer decides to storm into the house with a prisoner tied to him after hearing gunshots. He doesn’t call for any backup or inform anyone at all even, it’s just preposterous. This is just a couple of moments but there are many more than do nothing but insult your intelligence.
The crazed lady (La Femme) dispatches so many with such ease, I bet she cannot believe her luck with the idiotic people she deals with. It is revealed who exactly she is and while it is an extremely obvious twist, it makes her killing abilities far too unbelievable. I’m not saying a horror movie has to have believability but I feel this strays a little too far.
Inside isn’t a bad horror movie but it’s extremely lacking in more than one area. This is a film that made its name solely on how gore filled it is and I can sort of see why. It’s abundant but I’ve seen so much gore that I’m not so easily shocked by blood splatter and that is exactly what it is attempting to do, shock you and not much else. It’s worth a watch for that one scene that even I found hard to witness and the scenario it presents is terrifying indeed.