That's it. The French officially freak Judge David Johnson out.
Our review of Inside, published February 26th, 2008, is also available.
The French continue to prove they make the craziest horror movies known to man, and continue that tradition with this blood-drenched nightmare.
Facts of the Case
The film opens with a car accident, and that's where we meet Sarah (Alysson Paradis), a psychologically damaged pregnant woman who loses her husband in the wreck and struggles to live her lonely life, while anxiously awaiting the birth of her child.
On Christmas night, she prepares for another solitary night, but that's soon cut short when a strange woman shows up at her door demanding to be let in. Freaked, Sarah calls the cops, but the woman is gone and Sarah thinks that that's the end of it.
Yeah, not quite.
Here it is, laid out in the simplest terms: Inside is one of the most @#$%-ed up movies I've seen in a long time. A loooooonng time.
Now I've been around the block a few times and have seen some immensely whacked-out crap during my tenure at DVD Verdict, but it's rare that I've been unsettled by something I've watched. Inside can now be counted in the select group of Films That Have Creeped the Crap Out of Me.
The first third of the film is all set-up and atmosphere, methodical and cerebral punctuated by an occasional jump scene. In fact, the unprepared viewer might say to himself "Gee, this isn't so bad! What's with all the hyperactive accolades sprayed across the disc case proclaiming it to be unbelievably scary and violent? I can take it!"
No, you can't. You can't take it.
For what's to soon come is an unrelenting, non-stop gore-fest, a full-on bloodletting that eclipses pretty much any other genre outing I've ever seen in terms of amount of arterial spray and the unnerving manner in which people meet their end.
Look, I want to keep these details are vague as possible because if you dig horror and have been searching for the Next Big Thing, then I don't want to ruin anything for you. You really should go into this thing with as little foreknowledge as possible, to maximize the intensity.
In fact, let me just stop here. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the scary movie, then consider this an unequivocal recommendation. Find this disc now and strap in for some ridiculous s—-. If you are not one for the hack and slash then, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. I don't care if you're hanging with your older brother and his cool friends and they've got this thing cued up and are daring you to watch it with them or you're at a slumber party and the girls are applying some serious peer pressure, please LEAVE THE ROOM IMMEDIATELY. You will not sleep for the next three weeks.
Yeah, I know I'm inflating expectations for this thing, but I'm telling you, it's all deserved. From the tense atmosphere (set against the backdrop of the Paris riots) to the incredible sound-work (these French horror movies are case studies in utilizing sound to maximize scares) to the terror that follows and doesn't let up until the final, ridiculous ending, Inside is a textbook example of how to shock a disillusioned horror viewer like myself out of a mediocrity-induced coma. I haven't even talked about the kills yet, but that's something I'll choose not to expound on; rest assured, the violence that goes down is incredibly graphic and perpetrated with extreme prejudice using sharp, pointy objects.
That's everything I'm going to say about this. I think I've made my feelings clear enough. If horror's your game, you may not see anything crazier than this all year. If it's not, head for the hills.
Good disc from Dimension. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks fine, though darker sequences are sometimes too grainy. Two 5.1 tracks are offered, but I'd suggest the French version; the dubbing isn't great. A great, length making-of documentary will clue you into everything you need to know about how this abomination came into being.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
OK, you got me. It's not perfect. What generates most of the chills is the way the film is realistically grounded. Towards the end, Inside slips into no-way-that's-possible territory, diminishing the impact of the horror. Why, for example would you just remain stationary while taking a sustained fireball to the face? And what's with the zombie attack?
It's as if directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo sat down and dared themselves to make the most deranged slasher movie they could concoct. They win.
Guilty of First Degree Givin' Me the Willies.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Dimension Films
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