Inside (À l’intérieur) is one of the most exciting, disgusting, provocative and original horror movies ever penned and put on the movie screen. Never will a viewer’s hand come up to their mouths or eyes more than when viewing Inside. Inside’s gruesomeness is akin to the remake of The Hills Have Eyes’ infamous “Trailer Scene” multiplied and sustained throughout Inside’s entire last two acts. In many sick avenues, it actually trumps the “Trailer Scene”. As Ali G. would say: “Much respect.” Writer/director Alexandre Bustillo and director Julien Maury should be given whatever horror award is applicable for going into the outer reaches of taste and on-screen morality, destroying convention and horror compliancy in their wake. The viewer will constantly be surprised by the exquisite, extreme level of violence and squirm gore that would make Hard Candy fans cringe. There are one or two moments in The Devils Rejects where the viewer may think of the worst thing that could happen and then they actually see it happen on screen. In Inside, the viewer, possessing the perquisite creative (or demented) mind, will undoubtedly have this occur to them multiple times. This is especially the case because of the film’s pregnant protagonist Sarah (Alysson Paradis). There are many things the viewer may think will not, could not happen to Sarah because of the baby in her belly. They all happen and then some. It took a lot of “gumption”, as Ruby from Cold Mountain would say, to put a pregnant women through the horror film gauntlet and director Alexandre Bustillo never flinches while delivering layer upon layer of sadism. The antagonist, La Femme (Beatrice Dalle), acts as though she could careless that Sarah is pregnant and going to give birth the very next day. As it turns out, La Femme cares a great deal.
Their might not be an American director working today that could put on screen what Alexandre Bustillo manages to. If there are, they would never be brave enough to do so. This is not because of innate cowardice or a lack or imagination. It is because of the 800 pound primate in the room, the MPAA. The MPAA would never allow a film with the subject matter of Inside onto the screen with an R-rating, let alone with the film’s protagonist. The film would be automatically rated NC-17 or would be cut down until it was a placid child i.e. a normal American horror film. Luckily, because of the extreme violence in the film, it is very unlikely that Inside will ever be remade into a paltry, tin can version in the United States like so many foreign greats have been before.
It is mentioned in horror-lore how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was so shocking and gruesome that they actually issued barf bags during some showings. The violence is so overwhelming in Inside, that not only will some of the weak stomached suffer pangs of nausea, a few will stop viewing it and remove themselves from the film altogether. For all of its torrential violence, there is one moment in Inside that does not really make sense, especially considering the implied destructive power of a certain weapon. It does lead, though, to one of the most F.U.B.A.R. confrontations the viewer may have ever seen. It’s one of those speak out loud moments mentioned previous simultaneously accompanied by a hand coming up to the mouth. It is that disturbing to see and then for the film’s horrific finale, it is wholly and entirely supplanted. Once again though, you think something can not possibly happen and it does. It’s an idea; a direction in the back of the viewer’s head that they believe could happen but never will. It does.
Alexandre Bustillo’s Inside is one of the most devastating and disturbing horror movies every made. It sits towards the top of the horror tower peaked by The Exorcist, cradling unimaginable sequences most films stay away from and never approach.