Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Alysson Paradis, Béatrice Dalle, François-Régis Marchasson (and Tahar Rahim in a mini-role)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]
A few months ago, pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) was in a car accident. Her husband died, she and the baby survived. But Sarah has been shell-shocked ever since and can’t really look forward to the child, even though birth is drawing ever closer. One night, a woman (Béatrice Dalle) knocks on her door and asks to use the phone. When Sarah refuses she tries to force her way inside. Rattled, Sarah calls the police who can find no trace of the strange woman. But that doesn’t mean she’s gone and has given up getting what she wants: Sarah’s child.
There is a lot to appreciate about Inside, at least before it descends into the realm of utter stupidity (which is about the last third of the film). For me, the parts that didn’t work outweighed the parts that did though.
I can appreciate a good breach of taboos, an overstepping of lines that are usually followed without much thought as to why we follow them. And Inside certainly delivers on that count. Far from treating a pregnant woman reverently and/or pretending that with pregnancy a woman will lose all ability to do anything other than be pregnant, it opens the possibility to talk about having a child while being depressed or to discuss the violence that even pregnant women suffer all the time, despite it being shown as the most heinous crime that can be committed and therefore making it unthinkable and unrealistic (which is only how movieworld would like it to be and not how it actually is). It probably would have had more oomph as a domestic violence story instead of a story of babystealing, but it is a damn good start, making us examine why we have no problem with watching your regular slasher movie where thousand of teenagers fall prey to at least equally torturous murderers, but when it’s a pregnant woman we can barely handle it.
And with Béatrice Dalle the movie has the perfect actress to portray the villain of the story. She really is amazing in the role (and in that dress). I can understand why Bustillo and Maury continues to work with her ever since.
But as the story progresses, the movie falls apart more and more. With every liter of blood that is shed, the movie turns more and more bizarre in its gruesomeness and frankly its stupidity. Especially the police men where so incredibly incompetent, one barely has words for it. And when the last one [SPOILERS] actually gets up again zombie-like to turn on the electricity, even though he is blinded and then punches Sarah, mistaking her for the other woman [/SPOILERS] I could only roll my eyes at so much fail. [Another thing that stretched my credulity beyond the point it could stretch was [SPOILERS] how Sarah cuts her own trachea to make herself breath again – and immediately tapes it up again…[/SPOILERS]]
Those things made the film seem almost fantastical and while the first two thirds certainly didn’t contain the most likely or realistic events ever seen on screen, they were still plausible. That loss of plausibility tainted the entire film for me and in the end it meant that I just didn’t like it.