Inside Movie Review
Written by Becky Roberts
Released by Embankment Films
Directed by Miguel Angel Vivas
Written by Jaume Balaguero
2016, 100 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest UK Premiere on 26th August 2017
You could argue that those daring English-language remakes of foreign cult classics are somewhat already on the back foot, what with such news often met by fans of the originals with greater cynicism than you'd find at a UK Donald Trump rally. Of course, there's always a small glimmer of hope shining through our doubtfull souls that it may actually be worthwhile. Like Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are was, for example.
Undoubtedly one of France's finest contributions to genre film, and a star in the spotlight of new wave French horror, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s Inside (or À l’intérieur) deservedly crops up on many genre fans' top tens of European horrors, in esteemed company with the likes of Irreversible, Haute Tension and Let The Right One In, and so forth.
It's a home invasion psychothriller of immense (and immensely bloody) proportions; a consistent pedal-to-the-metal exercise in suspense that hangs you up to dry and leaves you there for its running length. As anyone who's had the pleasure (and I use that word lightly) of watching it will know, it's downright demented – in a good way, you understand.
Anyway, you get the picture. The point is, this remake was probably never going to be a good idea. But director Miguel Ángel Vivas (Kidnapped) and screenwriter Jaume Balaguero (REC, REC 2) clearly thought otherwise.
For the uninitiated, the premise of Inside is as follows: a heavily pregnant woman, grieving the recent loss of her husband, is trapped in her own home by a psychopathic woman who is after her unborn baby.
Vivas's reboot starts promisingly. For one, Laura Harring (Mulholland Drive) as 'the woman' is suitably terrifying in her cloaked garment. She, and her poor victim Rachel Nichols (Fantastic Four), earn at least a star of this review alone.
Generally, it sticks to the familiar script pretty tightly. The intrusion is well initiated. There's blood-soaked bathroom action, the misemployment of household tools and gory endings for cops – even if it isn't quite the eye-averting splatterfest of the original. (It'd be hard to compete with that deodorant can scene, after all.)
The problem is, it doesn't manage to climb beyond the first rung on the ladder of expectation. Comparatively, it simply doesn't come close to living up to the hard-hitting savagery or tension that the original thrives on. What's missing are the beautiful lingering shots; the fluctuating tone that's effectively encapsulated by a score offsetting pummelling drums with ominously wavering orchestral pieces; and the sense of the two leads' desperation intensifying as it goes.
As blood spills and the action dithers, patience begins to wane. And whatever remaining ounce of interest that sees you past the hour mark crumbles miserably in front of your eyes in what can only be described as a gratuitous conclusion.
If, like so many reboots, it serves to educate people of the original, then so be it. But otherwise it's hard to justify why you'd ever choose this English-language remake over the original. Perhaps, due to subtitles, if you wanted to watch something while eating your dinner. But even then…