“Inside” was the highly praised first feature film of french directors Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury. Alexandre Bustillo and Beatrice Dalle where two of the guests of honor at this years /slash Filmfestival, which is why they showed a little retrospective of their work. I had already seen “Livid” and thought it was ok (which is why I skipped it), but given its status of one of the masterpieces of modern french horrors, I was very excited to finally check out “Inside”. And while I liked it overall, I’m afraid that I also had my problems with it.
It starts with the concept of the movie. Why would La femme go to all these lengths to steal Sarah’s baby, instead of just waiting until it’s born and snatch it from the hospital? I get that La femme is a highly disturbed individual, but I wish they would have addressed why she felt she had to do it this way. Also, trying to cut the baby out without drugging or in any way securing Sarah first, seems highly optimistic. Did she really expect Sarah to just lie down and let it happen? Also: The connection between Sarah and the unnamed woman was soooo obvious that I wish they would have just gone out and told us right away, instead of trying to make it an oh-so-shocking twist. “Inside” also featured two horror movie tropes that I get tired of more and more. A) the accidental killing of a friend/family member, and B) the hero not taking his/her chance to finish the bad guy/girl/femme off. The latter resulted in one of the stupidest scenes that I’ve seen in a very long time. Seriously, what the fuck? And don’t even let me get started on the terrible looking CGI-baby.
My biggest problem with “Inside”, though, was it’s serious case of SPAS, which in this case doesn’t stand for “Stupid people acting stupidly”, but rather “Stupid policemen acting stupidly”. The first two cops already weren’t too bright, but the last one… oh my god. First: Why would he take the guy that they busted with him, instead of just handcuffing him to the car? Or how about calling for reinforcements before going in? The biggest headscratcher, however, was that when the power went out, instead of grabbing Sarah and getting her out of the house and into safety, he thinks it’s more important to turn the electricity on again. I hope for him that he’ll be an electrician in his next life, so that he’s finally able to fulfill his destiny. Seriously, though, that was just a little too much stupidity for my taste.
The fact that I still liked the movie despite all that is ample proof of how well other parts of the movie work. I think the idea behind it is really strong, catching women when they are the most vulnerable. Also, the thought of getting your baby cut out of you like that… that alone is seriously fucked up, and truly disturbing. There are a couple of gruesome scenes (and yes, that’s a plus), and a couple of really strong moments. Also, the atmosphere that builds in the first part of the movie, with Sarah home alone and an unknown woman stalking her, is really strong. And I really loved the performances by Alysson Paradis and – especially – Beatrice Dalle. “Inside” definitely features a couple of unforgettable moments – but ultimately, I think that the concept/idea behind it is stronger/better than the movie itself.