I didn’t know a lot about Inside prior to watching the film. As a horror buff in general, I pride myself on trying to watch as many out there and different films as I can. The more polarizing they are, the more interested I am to talk about them. The so-called New French Extremity movement has ushered in a new wave of interesting and unique filmmakers who’re now officially on my radar. No more interesting than Juliet Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, who I had never heard of til now, but do truly believe will be a significant fixture in modern horror for years to come. After all, they are inline to direct the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre film (Editor’s note: – This review was written in 2016. Since then, McConnaughay has reviewed their film Among the Living, as well as their “Texas Chainsaw” film, aptly titled Leatherface.)
The film itself is kept simple enough – basically, woman wants other woman’s baby and will stop at nothing in order to have it. As many of you will attest, a straightforward, simple concept has led to some of the best horror films ever created. It is a genre that is benefited by atmosphere and a skillful director’s capable hand, steering and manipulating the moviegoer wherever he wants for them to be. As far as acting and characterization is concerned, the characters are one-dimensional and empty templates in their execution, whereas the acting is neither bad nor praiseworthy overall. The phrase “par for the course” comes to mind.
Thankfully, something Juliet and Alexandre both seem to understand is cinematography and style, at least when appealing to their target demographic. I have always despised the expression “torture porn,” because I believe it is used derogatively and as a way to cheapen a film’s merit. However, I realize it’s all semantics, and I shouldn’t let naysayers takeaway, the Nightmare Shift prides itself as a website that knows “what’s up”, after all. That in mind, this film is very intense and blood-filled, and it is definitely vicious enough that if I were to use this phrase, this is a film that mind come to mind. By the end, Inside makes for an absolute massacre, a blood-filled extravaganza, if you will! Whether the film is violence for the sake of, or if the film itself as the merit to stand on its own, is an answer I feel meets somewhere in the middle of it all.
The film kept my attention from start to finish, which is always a compliment in-execution given my scatter-plot brain. The violence and absolute torment committed to the antagonist is harrowing and without relent, with the last twenty or so minutes really bringing things together as sadistically as one can.
In the end, however, while Inside no doubt boasts the corn syrup and squirmy visual aesthetic, it never reaches the same high-caliber in any other department. It is visceral and harsh, and that, among other things, has helped it be recognized as one of the highlights of French horror. I would recommend it to gore hounds, for certain, and, truly, it is a film that is competent through and through. For the overall product, however, I found that it lacked, and therefore, I would not recommend it to a casual moviegoer.