Sunday, January 10, 2010

Inside: A New Holiday Classic...

Boy, I wish I had seen Inside last month during the Holiday Season. Surrounded by friends and family, curled up next the the fireplace drinking some Eggnog. Instead we watched A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life. Our old traditional Holiday films. Little did we know that a new Christmas film was out. A tale about family, love, loss, and the power of faith to overcome any obstacle. A heartwarming film that had it not been for the copious amounts of gore would have been a perfect fit for Lifetime or ABC Family Channel. That film is 2007's Inside.

Inside tells the story of Sarah (Alysson Paradis), a recently widowed woman who is about to give birth to her first child. It is Christmas Eve and Sarah is a little depressed. Her husband is dead after all, and her mom is a nag. She might also be having an affair with her boss but I couldn't figure that part out. Anyway, it is Christmas Eve and Sarah is alone in her big French House (this film is set in contemporary France. There are class and immigration riots going on in the streets, meaning the cops are all tied up. This will be important to our story.) Just as she is settling in for her long winters nap, there is a knock on the door.

It is a mystery woman (Beatrice Dalle) looking to use Sarah's phone. Sarah lies to the woman and tells her she can't come in to use the phone because her Husband is asleep. The mystery woman informs Sarah that she knows that her Husband is dead and that she must be let in. It's almost like A Christmas Carol! But this woman is no Ghost of Christmas Past. She is a CRAZY BITCH who wants to cut Sarah's baby out of her tummy. So begins a good hour of non-stop gore, head trauma, scissor trauma, would be rescuers dying in extremely horrible ways, faces getting set on fire, and lots of blood, blood, blood, blood, blood. Santa is going to have a hellva time when he gets to this house.
Seriously, this is one f'd-up movie. The first 30 minutes or so are really scary. It begins as a classic stalker type thriller. Beatrice Dalle is like a really scary, crazy Angelina Jolie. The way she stalks her prey is terrifying. Of course I was watching this film alone at night and I kept saying "why the hell am I watching this by myself? If there is a knock on the door I am going to faint."
The best part of this film is the interaction between Sarah and her baby's would be mama. When everyone and their brother come to the house to try to rescue her the film lapses into a standard (but over the top) gore-fest. The ending is as over the top as the rest of the film- but it worked.
This is the 4th film I have seen that qualifies as "French New Wave Horror." I like the title "New French Extremity." Like Martyrs and High Tension this film pushes the envelope. What struck me about Inside was the fact that things like this really happen. Not to this extreme, but it happens.

Now if I can get my family to make this our new Christmas movie........


Franco Macabro said...

Loved this movie, now all I need to do is see Martyrs.

Also, dont forget Frontier(s), another great french horror film. French horror is kicking american horrors ass all over chinatown!

Leah said...

In my review of Inside I also noted the similarities to true events. The WE channel aired an episode of Snapped where a pregnant woman ("the mother") had this happen to her. A woman, who pretended to be pregnant, lured "the mother" to her house where she planned to cut the baby out of "the mother" and leave her for dead. Luckily "the mother" fought for her life, ended up killing the psycho, and had to prove to authorities it was in self-defense. Crazy!