Inside (Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury, 2007)

by Smart

For a film that, in concept, tries so hard to do something new and to play with horror conventions inventively, Inside sure manages to fit an extraordinary number of clichés into such a short running time. The cinematography was distractingly amateur and flat, with little shot variety and ugly lighting. The narrative was unsurprisingly obtuse, but that can be forgiven as the film would go on to demonstrate it wanted to do nothing more than to hose as much of the set in fake blood as possible. Consequently, the gore, which there is a lot of, is too fake and too frivolous to be disturbing or upsetting. The violence quickly becomes repetitive and build-up is forsaken for excessive attempts at shock, all of which failed to move me. A lot of time is wasted on character development just to have the pregnancy turn into an awkward gimmick. Transparent dialogue delivered by a bad cast completely detached me emotionally.

I found it impossible to take this film seriously. Comic sound effects, lame use of music and illogical character actions made sure that I wouldn’t find a single moment of horror in the entire film, as it descended further and further into absurdity until arriving at a level of idiocy closely resembling Freddy vs. Jason. You can’t get away with referencing Blow Up and then immediately throwing in two useless, tacky fades. But what more can you expect from an editor named simply Baxter, who would no doubt find himself better suited to editing music videos for Aphex Twin. Even the killer is an oddly costumed, ultimately silly joke. They’re hip enough to use a pair of scissors as a weapon, but fall frequently into misplaced temper tantrums and giving bizarre facial expressions. It was manageable when the film was at least trying to be creepy, but after it turned into a showdown any and all suspense was quickly lost. Top it all off with a painfully predictable twist, constant blatant homage and psychologically stale characters, and Inside is left to do nothing more than wallow in its own pool of blood, which it does shamelessly.

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