Sunday, September 5, 2021

It's What's Inside That Counts

Films: Inside (A L’interieur)
Format: DVD borrowed from a friend on rockin’ flatscreen

There are plenty of films that I don’t want to watch, and some of them I’ve managed to sit through. There are a few on the They Shoot Zombies list I’m guessing I will never see, not because I can’t find them but because I don’t want to sit through them. A film right on the edge of that line is Inside (or A L’Interieur if you prefer the French, since this is French Extremity). This film has an 82 minute run time and, depending on how you count things, somewhere between seven and 10 deaths. Seven of those are unbelievably brutal. This is a film that is absolutely painted in blood over the last hour or so.

I’m going to keep this simple, because this is not a film I can say that I enjoyed. We start with photographer Sarah (Alysson Paradis) who gets into a terrible car accident while five months pregnant. The accident kills her husband and the people in the other car.

Four months later, on Christmas Eve, Sarah is getting ready to give birth. She hasn’t really recovered from the accident and isn’t really used to living on her own, but the baby is overdue. She is scheduled to be induced the following day, with her editor Jean-Pierre (Francois-Regis Marchasson) planning on taking her to the hospital. But, of course, it’s not going to be that easy.

What happens is that a woman (Beatrice Dalle) shows up at her house and tries to break in. She makes up a story about needing the phone, but also seems to know a great deal about Sarah’s life. She knows, for instance that her husband is dead. The police come to check things out, and eventually Sarah is left on her own again. But of course it’s still not going to be that easy.

The woman, who is never named, breaks into the house and, well, attempts to perform an impromptu Caesarean with a pair of scissors. And what’s going to happen for the rest of the film is Sarah and the woman are going to more or less try to either steal or protect the baby that is ready to be born. People will show up and there will be carnage that is shocking and brutal, and there will be more blood that you though possible from just about everyone who walks across the screen. Toward the end, we’ll find out exactly who the woman is, and it’s not something I’m going to spoil.

Inside is the very definition of a hard watch, and not a film I will watch a second time. But, like all of the good films that have come out of the French Extremity movement, this is a movie that does have a purpose. There’s point to the carnage, if only to show the extremes that people will go to to get what they want.

Sometimes I watch horror movies with one of my sisters. A lot of what I do, or at least a part of what I do when I watch horror movies is ai scout films that I think she would like to watch. Inside is not going to fit that bill. She’s not going to watch this and I wouldn’t think about making her or even suggesting it.

There isn’t a way to sugarcoat this. Inside is unbelievably brutal. This is survival horror to a degree that almost doesn’t exist. I was prepared for this to be a hard sit, but I was honestly not prepared for just how far this goes and just how brutal this ends up being. Inside is worth a watch from those who can bear it (once, maybe), but I can’t imagine thinking that I would like to see it again. Now that I know where it goes, I can’t think that choosing this would be something I would want to do.

But it is expertly made. There is a sort of beauty to it. It exists in a world of blood and violence that Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci could only have dreamed of. And while the plot is simple (lady want baby), there is a plot.

But now that I’ve seen it, I won’t watch it again.

Why to watch Inside: Talking about French Extremity films doesn’t do them justice.
Why not to watch: It’s far more brutal than you are prepared for.


  1. I need to see this as there's a bunch of French Extremity films that I need to watch as I've only seen a few so far.

    1. I haven't seen a ton, either. This one is pretty rough, although not nearly as rough as Martyrs.

      And, as with Martyrs, there is evidently a substandard American remake. Go figure.