A l'interieur is known in the states as 2007's French stunner...Inside. It is a simple film that provokes many blood-curdling notions. One of those notions is how absolutely frightening Beatrice Dalle can be.
The film is directed by french duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury and is shot with a precise sense of tension and horror. While it involves many of the usual home invasion elements often seen in other films of its nature, Inside is more of a personal journey of a young woman's fight for survival.
The events take place after the death of Sarah's (a wonderfully frightened Alysson Paradis) husband. She happens to be on the brink of her first child birth. However, one dark and lonely night she is tormented by a mysterious woman with an unrelenting force motivated by elements that I won't spoil for you. The mysterious woman is played with a delectable evil by the strangely attractive Beatrice Dalle. I say strangely attractive because I found myself drawn to her for some reason. I'm not sure if it was because of her character's personal plight...or if it was because of her magnetic screen presence...but, the woman plays the film's antagonist with such tremendous brutality and unyielding force.
Inside is easily one of my favorite films of the last decade and it holds a special place in my soul. It manages to weave several traditional elements of horror into a simplistic story of survival that has plenty of replay value. I've watched the film many, many times since its 2007 release and still find new things here and there. The acting is tight, the film making is breath-taking and the scares are claustrophobic and personal.
The fact that Sarah is pregnant brings in a new element of terror that is seldom used to such intensity as it is done here. I often cringe at films with pregnancy stuff...so, this film scared me on a completely different level. There's also a dream sequence that seriously takes you by surprise! Not to mention the scissor scene. The film creates an atmosphere of dread that makes the setting (Christmas Eve) feel that much more daunting. And...Oh my God...that ending!
For those searching for something gory that pulls no punches...you need look no further. The film, although seemingly done on a small budget, provides the viewer with so much grue...Lucio Fulci would be proud. And the best thing about it all is that the gore works for the script. It never feels random like other over-the-top films.
If there was one flaw...I would have to say that at one point the film sort of shifts gears and creates pity for the antagonist of the story. Leaving you to kind of look at the protagonist in a different light. However, this feels more like a strength to the film as it proves it has multiple layers. While there are a couple scenes that feel out of place that leave you wondering why they weren't left on the cutting room floor...that's really just a minor gripe as the rest of the film is pretty great.
Inside is a film not to be missed this Halloween season. It is a film that will haunt you long after you watch it and it also has a tendency to exhaust many of your emotional investments. It stands among the best that French horror cinema has to offer and will surely go down as a genre classic. It is a gory feminine tale of survival and karmic horror that will make you look beyond the simplistic nature of the story.
Inside will scare you inside.
4.5 out of 5
Thanks for reading!