Monday, June 2, 2008
Inside: Movie Review #18
Ever since I saw Session 9 for the first time back in the Fall, I have been waiting for another film to creep up and disturb me the way that did. I want a movie to make me feel uneasy even in the comfort of my own home. That is power; that is good cinema.
After reading the Rue Morgue cover story about the film, I stored the title in the “movies-to-see” side of my brain and went about my day. During a weekend getaway to an old-fashioned bed & breakfast in Bristol, CT this past weekend, my girlfriend and I decided to cozy up in our huge king sized bed surrounded by furniture from the early 1900’s and portraits that seemed to follow you, to watch a scary movie. We grabbed the only copy of Inside from Blockbuster and got into our PJ's.
I have always admired a director who “goes there,” touching on taboo topics and challenging the viewer to explore darker areas of their psyche. Inside is a perfect example – no American horror director dares touch the main topic of this film: terrorizing a pregnant woman. French Writer and director Alexandre Bustillo definitely “goes there.”
A pregnant woman named Sarah from a car crash in the opening scene is later visited by a stranger on Christmas Eve, who comes to the door asking for help and apparently knows more about Sarah than we think. Known to the viewer only as La Femme, she starts the nightmare by breaking in and watching Sarah sleep, slithering on and off the screen, outlined in silhouettes, and clad in a long black gown with long black hair. With the exception of a few films (most notably the first Friday the 13th where Mrs. Voorhees does all the killing in honor of her son Jason), Americans have become accustomed to male killers. La Femme is a refreshing break from the norm and a perfect villain – dark, manic, and determined to get her revenge.
95% of the film takes place in Sarah’s home, which by the end of the film is completely splattered with blood. One by one, Sarah’s potential rescuers are murdered by La Femme, starting with the victim’s mother. The suspense of the film revolves around the fact that at any point in the film, our main character could go into labor. La Femme hunts her down in every room of the house, armed with a pair of scissors to cut the baby from her womb. The film is an 83 minute bloodbath that leaves you with a haunting final image that no American director would dare conclude a film with. We are left to feel just as helpless as Sarah, a feeling which transcends the screen and creates a real human sense of unrest and fear.
Gory, disturbing, and down-right revolutionary in its subject matter and imagery, Inside is probably one of the most deranged films I have ever seen. 5 toes for sure and should be #1 on your hit-list if you haven’t seen it already.