Inside is a simple film at its core. When a car accident leaves the pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) a widow and single mother, she struggles to cope. Living a bare existence, she spends the run up to her childbirth indulging in vivid fantasies of her deceased paramour whilst shunning her family and friends. On Christmas Eve she continues to seclude herself and wallow in misery when a mysterious female stranger knocks on the front door trying to gain entry through trickery, intrigue and brute force.
Naturally Sarah is wary and when the police arrive and find nothing out-of-place she goes to bed still tense from her unnerving experience. Whilst she sleeps unaware, “The Woman” (Béatrice Dalle) sneaks into the house and creeps up the stairs and into her bedroom. What ensues is a cat and mouse game with Sarah trapped in the house with no means of escape and an insane woman hell-bent on performing a little home surgery to claim the baby for herself. Sarah must fight for her life and her newborn baby as the nightmare unfolds and her family, friends and innocents get caught in the madness.
With the first glint of the scissors I lunged for a pillow to shield myself; for the rest of the movie my pillow stayed in place. This home invasion flick takes the genre to new levels or discomfort and gore. There’s something about the topic of pregnancy that calls to something primal in all of us and the trajectory of the film leaves you scrabbling for your tattered nerves with its relentless brutality. The acting by the two female leads is stellar and the characters both compelling and complex. The invader is not one who is hidden by a shadow and a mask but is shown openly with an apparent agenda which is gradually revealed as the movie progresses.
I must also comment on the gore which is plentiful but completely necessary and adds to the frank and genuine feel of the movie. It’s always handled in a mature and strangely beautiful way, flowing freely throughout making the set looks like a slaughter-house towards the end (this film takes place almost wholly inside the house and mostly in a handful of rooms).
This film is without a doubt one of the most brutal and raw I’ve ever seen with an ending that packs such a punch that it will stay will you well after the credits have rolled and leave you feeling very drained. French horror has never looked so good.
Video sourced from youtube.