There’s an old saying: “Truth is stranger than fiction”, it could also be stated that some of the most disturbing horror films aren’t cooked up by a creative screenwriter, but adapted from incidents that have actually happened.The best example I can think of right off the top of my head is “Henry:Portrait Of A Serial Killer”, and Michael Rooker’s chilling portrayal of Henry Lee Lucas.
In the past 2 decades, there have been several reporting’s of young pregnant women being brutally attacked and having their unborn child forcibly removed from the womb.Undoubtedly showing what lengths some people will go to obtain a child.
Which is the subject of the 2007 French film “Inside”, Part of the new wave of French horror along side films such as “Martyrs” which was the second film I reviewed for this blog.This particular film however, made me take interest in French horror once again.
Young mother-to-be Sarah relaxes at home close to Christmas time.Despondent over the recent death of her husband.She is visited in the middle of the night by a mysterious woman dressed in black.(played by Beatricce Dall) asking for help.Sarah lies to her and tells her her husband is asleep, The woman tells her she knows her husband is already dead, She knows she is lying.
This was the first aspect of the film I found intriguing, Dalle’s character is never given a name, her face is illuminated in several shots, but we never find out her true identity.Almost if the directors are making a statement “Evil has a face, not always a name.”The woman tries to persist, luckily Sarah is a photographer and takes a photo of her before she can flee and calls for help.
The police do finally arrive, but find no evidence she has been there.They leave, promising to keep a close eye on the household for the evening.She decides to develop the photo she took earlier, as well as others she has previously shot.It reveals a chilling secret; The mysterious woman appears in many of them, this wasn’t an accidental visit, She has been stalking her and lying in wait for the perfect opportunity to strike.
Attempting to go to sleep after such an unnerving experience,Sarah is soon awakened by the woman who has somehow gained entry into the house.She attacks Sarah with a pair of scissors, and stabs her repeatedly in the belly.Sarah escapes and then locks herself in the bathroom.The woman than tells Sarah her grisly intention, she is here to take her baby for herself.As the night passes, Sarah’s mother and her employer arrive to make sure she is all right.Her mother calmly knocks on the bathroom door, Mistaking her mother for the mysterious intruder, Sarah lets the door fly open and stabs her own mother with a needle.Her employer also comes to a horrific end, Stabbed by the woman.Even the police can’t remedy the situation, they arrive to help, (and even give side arms to some petty crooks they have just arrested.)and one by one are killed.
The bumbling cops handing weapons over to criminals was a bit far-fetched for me the first time I watched this film.I understand now what the message is that’s being conveyed here: Everyone in your life is being taken from you one by one, Any chances you had to be saved from what’s inevitably going to happen are now quickly slipping away.
The two of them are left alone in the house for the final act of the film, beaten and bloodied, Sarah lies on the stairs of her house in a state of total and complete shock.Before I continue I did have one issue with the home invasion sequence of the film.Throughout this gripping drama there are scenes of a CGI baby from inside of Sarah’s womb.I’m not going to lie, It did take away from what was going on, but it’s something I’ll overlook, for the sake of the film as a whole.
The films finale is Sarah in a state of shock going into labor on her stairs.She panic as the baby is stuck while in labor.The woman “shushes” Sarah as she begins to slice open her belly with her scissors to perform an emergency Caesarian section.The film concludes with the woman cradling her new child peacefully in her arms.As a close up is provided of Sarah, sliced wide open with a look of complete defeat upon her face.
As much as this film is filled with many bloody,gut-wrenching scenes, It is living proof that once again European horror has trumped anything happening on this side of the Atlantic.Start to finish, It’s a gripping movie, Scariest of all; It’s not to far off from the reality we live in today.