inside | alexandre bustillo | juline maury | alysson paradis | jean-baptiste tabourin | claude lule | french extreme | beatrice dalle | france | dominique frot | nathalie roussel | home invasion | francois-regis marchasson | hyam zaytoun | emmanuel guez
Film: Inside (À l'intérieur)
Director: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Writer: Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo
Starring: Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin and Claude Lulé
This film I had heard about from some of the horror film podcasts I listen to. I had seen other films from the French Extreme movement that came out in 2000’s, but this was one I hadn’t yet. The synopsis of this film is four months after the death of her husband; a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.
Now this film has an interesting premise. It starts with the car accident that Sarah’s (Alysson Paradis) husband dies in. The film does a great job at establishing subtly Sarah now as to what she was before the accident. This is done through pictures she has on her wall with her husband and she looks happy. We see her at her last appointment before they induce labor. She seems to just be depressed and doesn’t really want to be around people, which I can’t blame her. It would be tough to becoming a mother after losing your significant other like she did.
The editing does well at building tension throughout the film. It starts off with La femme (Béatrice Dalle) just spooking her. What makes it even better is that the film feels realistic too. The police show up and others do as well to help Sarah. It takes place on Christmas Eve, so her neighborhood is even more quiet than normal. There’s also civil unrest, which seems to stem from foreigners killing someone, so there are riots. Between both of these, it makes sense why response times to something like this would take more time than normal.
Now speaking of realism, the blood in this film looks extremely real. It had my toes curling despite knowing that it is fake. I have to give the filmmakers credit, they went practical and it looked amazing to me. I won’t give away of the actual attacks that happen, but I will say that between the blood and violence, having Sarah being pregnant amps up the tension as well for the film.
We also get a CGI look at the baby in the womb before the accident. I will admit, I could have done without this aspect of the film as it doesn’t look great. I also don’t really feel that is needed either. I won’t hold it against the film too much, but that was one issue I had. I understand why we see it throughout the film though. There also was some fire that I thought didn’t look good as well. This is something that is still a problem for films as well. Those were my only issues with the effects.
In order to make this film happen, the two women had to have solid performances as they are the two in it for most of it. Paradis has the necessary arch for this film. She is freaked out and then is trapped in the bathroom for most of it. It makes sense as she is forced into labor by what happens to her. She does have that turn when she knows if she wants to survive, she’ll have to fight back. Dalle on the other hand is quite creepy. I love how people just assume who she is and it almost works a couple of times. That helped to ramp up the tension as well. I ended up feeling kind of bad for her, which is hard to do seeing the things she does, but it still doesn’t justify her means for sure. The rest of the cast definitely rounded out the film for what was needed.
The reveal near the end of the film I thought was interesting as well. I wasn’t expecting what happened which is good thing. It answers the question of why. For me, it didn’t necessarily have to be answered, so I figure I should state that. There was something that does happen during the climax with one of the police officers that I didn’t really care for. It confused me to be honest. I will say that ending of the film was great in my opinion. It is so bleak and dark.
While writing this, I tried to think if the score really stood out to me and I can’t really recall it. I don’t think this is negative toward the film. It doesn’t hurt the film and never took me out of the scenes, so I will give it credit there. There were a few times though that I did and it really got my anxiety going even more. Something else though is that the gritty look of the film. I thought it helped to add to the realism of what was happening.
With that said, if you don’t really know about the French Extreme movement, you might want to brace yourself. There is a lot of realistic violence and blood. Now with that out of the way, I really liked this film. It isn’t for everyone, but if you like these types of films, I would recommend it for sure. I thought the story is not only scary, but interesting. It does have a reveal at the end I liked as well as something that kind of confused me. The ending itself though definitely made up for it. The acting I thought was good. The two leads did really well in two differing characters. I especially liked Paradis’ character arch. The CGI doesn’t hold up well, but thankfully there isn’t a lot. The practical effects were amazing though. The editing of the film was good and even though the score didn’t stand out, it fit the scenes. Overall I’d say this is a good film, but as I said, it isn’t for everyone. If you can handle it, definitely give it a viewing.
My Rating: 9 out of 10