Inside, or À l’intérieur as it is called in the original language, is one of the most tasty delicacies of a slasher that has come after the turn of the millennium, directed by the duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury. Inside was one of the first in the so-called New French Extremity-wave with, among others such as, Alexandre Aja’s Haute Tension a few years back, and Xavier Gens´ Frontier (s ), which came the same year as this one. Already the following year, Pascal Laugier pushed the strings even further with Martyrs. So yeah, the 2000’s was an exciting time for French horror films that flourished new, young, hungry talents while the stiff bureaucrats at the censorship board probably was on a permanent vacation.
The film begins with an ugly front-to-front car accident with the pregnant Sarah and her husband. The husband dies while Sarah survives. Four months later, exactly on Christmas Eve, Sarah is depressed and just wants to be all alone in her big house with her nine month-pregnant belly. But the peace and silence turns 180 degrees when Sarah unexpectedly gets a visitor at the door: an intimidating and tall black-dressed woman who just wants to borrow the phone – who by coincidence knows Sarah’s name and that her husband is dead. Sarah calls the police when the woman starts to get threatening, but it does not stop her so easily and her mission is crystal clear: she wants to murder Sarah and anyone who comes in her way, with unclear motives.
So, we’re clearly talking about a home invasion-film here with a small budget and limited use of location. It’s however a highly steady technical and gruesome film with some pretty insane killing scenes and is basically a love-letter to gorehounds, more or less. The acting is also a major plus, which gives some really strong and convincing performances. I especially have to point out Beatrice Dalle, which is pretty relentless and goes all up to eleven in a rollercoaster-ride of psychotic rage attacks I haven’t seen in a female killer probably outside of Asian movies.
The atmosphere is slicey-thick and some of the scenes are downright creepy, especially the first shot where we see the killer inside the house while Sarah is sleeping on the couch. It’s got a slow and subtle build-up which plays with your emotions and expectations. But when all hell breaks loose, it’s non-stop carnage, mayhem and pure slaughter house to the last second where we get the pleasure to witness some first class prosthetic effects and brutal kills, some of which are so realistic and so well done that it’s painful to watch in some places. The only minus here is the CGI images of Sarah’s baby in her womb that didn’t look convincing back in 2007, and surely doesn’t look any better now. But besides of that, Inside is a solid film and even after 10-plus years after its release, it’s still the nastiest slasher I’ve ever witnessed, and I still wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who’s pregnant.
For a complete uncut version of the film, look for the DVD release from Dimension Extreme. And don’t let yourself get scared away from the awful trailer, by the way..
Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Orignial title: À l’intérieur
Country & year: France, 2007
Actors: Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin, Claude Lulé, Dominique Frot, Nathalie Roussel, François-Régis Marchasson, Béatrice Dalle, Hyam Zaytoun, Tahar Rahim, Emmanuel Guez, Ludovic Berthillot, Emmanuel Lanzi, Nicolas Duvauchelle