Thursday, October 13, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 12: Phil watches INSIDE (2007)-October 12, 2011

Welcome back my friends to Day Twelve of my horror movie marathon. For the last couple of blogs I have been in Italy, visiting my good friend Lucio Fulcio. Now I've made my way to France where, since 2003, has been the home for some of the most original and the most shocking and gruesome images of horror that has been seen since the 1980's. Tonight's film INSIDE is just one of the many horror films that France (of all places) has been releasing onto unexpected audiences worldwide.

Original French Theatrical Poster (2007)
The film starts with a car accident that kills pregnant Sarah’s (Alysson Paradis) husband but she survives as well as her unborn baby. Four months later, she’s going home alone for the last night she has to herself before she is admitted into the hospital to deliver. That night, she is terrorized by a seemingly psychotic woman (Beatrice Dalle) who, wielding a pair of scissors, has a burning desire to cut the baby out of Sarah’s stomach and keep it for herself.

The opening of the film is important to how the rest plays out, and in the beginning we see that Sarah is just completely miserable. She’s outwardly rude to people and keeps only to herself, even shutting out her mother (Nathalie Roussel). She thinks so much about her husband that it is very clear to the audience that this baby is the last thing she wants. If she has the baby, it’s very possible that she will never be able to move on from what happened to her husband and be quite miserable all her life. Sympathy is sparked more towards the baby than it is towards its mother. Because of this, there is already an unconscious desire in the audience for the baby to end up with whomever will love it the most. Of course there is a feeling of sympathy for Sarah as well, because otherwise the film would stop being interesting right then and there. Because she is so miserable, there is another unconscious desire for her to move on from her tragedy and find something that can be fulfilling for her.

The mysterious woman is never known by any name other than “La Femme,” and is rather terrifying, but in a different way from any other movie villain. She’s not really trying to hurt Sarah, but she does want that baby and she will do anything to get it. She is almost completely un-sadistic. It’s her determination that makes her so frightening. She’s not doing this for fun; she really has a motive (which is revealed toward the end of the film). Another thing that really makes the audience sympathize with her is that she doesn’t always win. She gets stabbed and burned and kicked around and, at one point, nearly arrested. Making La Femme sympathetic is where this film crosses the line from mediocre horror to near-masterpiece. With this film, first-time directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury made a powerful explosion into the horror genre.

INSIDE is a powerful, emotional, tour de force horror film that prays on your emotions while simultaneously satisfies the bloodlust in all diehard fans of the genre. While it seems somewhat unbelievable, the French have demonstrated once again that they are a country that should no longer be made fun of. In fact, after watching the film again, we should be very scared of them.

INSIDE is currently available uncut on DVD. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer of visit the Amazon website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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