Inside, released in 2007 and directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, is a graphic, and visceral movie experience, unlike anything I have experienced before. It takes a lot for me to squirm in my seat due to gore and violence, but this one accomplished that task. It is a sadistic movie without much plot; instead, it chooses to get inside your skin and see how much you can take. Like Sheitan, this film is apart of the New French Extremity movement, and trust me when I say it earns the title of extreme.
The plot concerns a young expectant mother, Sarah (played excellently by Alysson Paradis), who, after losing her significant other in a car accident, is plagued by a home invader on Christmas Eve who wants to take her child. The home invader who is never named is played by actress Beatrice Dalle who gives a chilling, sadistic, and excellent performance in the movie. I would argue her unnamed villain is one of the best antagonists I have seen in a film like this. The movie goes straight for the throat and features some of the most horrific on-screen violence that I have witnessed. Every time I thought the film had reached a plateau, it would climb higher.
The gore effects in the movie are top-notch. The make-up and special effects team deserves high praise for their brutal and unnerving work. The cinematography by Laurent Bares deserves some special mention as well. His use of darkness and light helps amplify the horror and intensity of the film. These elements, along with an excellent score by Francois-Eudes Chanfrault, help elevate the atmosphere, gore, and horror to new heights. There was only one scene that was off-putting in a negative way, and it comes during Sarah’s nightmare when her unborn child burst from her mouth. The special effects in this scene are quite dated, and it was almost comical to watch. That being said, the rest of the digital effects were decent and not distracting. The movie features numerous scenes of the unborn child in the womb, and that is all done through digital effects. Again, some of the effects are dated, but unlike the mouth baby scene, these scenes are not detrimental to the overall film.
It is difficult for me to say I recommend this film because I would understand people being turned off by the sadism and bleakness of the film, but it is an excellent and visceral horror film. If you think you can stomach graphic gore and violence, as well as a bleak and depressing horror film, you should check this out. Inside is a movie that will stick with me for a while. I don’t think it is a movie that I will revisit often due to its nature, but some moments and scenes will live in my mind for a while; it is a brutally effective horror film that works because of its simplicity and brutality.