<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
<script type="text/javascript"
</script></div>{/googleAds}If there's one thing the French do well its make an impact, no matter what field you wanna throw out off the top of your head. Their food is world-renowned; their capital is the number one romantic destination on our globe; and of the few films this reviewer has seen, their movies are no half-assed effort either...

Horror films are not something the French tend to bankroll in any great number, nor do they often attempt to replicate any American formula in any genre, but Inside - a horror film debut for both the French producers, director(s) and writer does embrace these conventions, combining them effortlessly with a discernable French flavour.

The story starts with a bang, literally (a car crash) and rarely lets up from then on. The lone survivor of the crash, Sarah (Alysson Paradis), four months on is heavily pregnant. On the eve of her arranged birth, still failing to cope with the loss of her husband, Sarah finds herself trapped in her home alone, accosted by a freaky mystery woman who wants her baby. What unfolds is an unflinching, gory, battle between the two for survival and for the prize of Sarah's unborn child.

The script is rock solid and constructs an oppressive, increasingly tension-filled hour and a bit this is a film of unrelenting horrific occurrences, and wisely adopts some brevity. The two main characters are well-drawn, with Sarah being a pitiable heroin without resorting to weakness or blubbering cries for our sympathy. The villain is truly bat-shit crazy, chilling, economically used and terrifying in a way that hasn't been seen in a very long time. Dialogue is kept to an absolute minimum; exposition is handled with equal restraint and held perfectly until the right moment; and while events go far and I mean FAR out there toward the end, the solid foundations underpinning the whole story allow for them to make sense... whether you like them or not is up to you.

First time directors Julian Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (who also wrote the script) shoot their film with the panache of a well-financed US studio horror film, while managing to add a heavy Dario Argento-esque flavour throughout, especially as the film descends to its squirm-worthy finale. And speaking of squirm worthy...

This film is released through Dimension's ‘Extreme' distribution arm. Usually these adjectives can be met with a scoff, as those pushing the product tend to exaggerate the severity of the scares and yucky moments with overblown buzzwords that leave you wondering after the fact what Sesame Street scale of scary/yucky they based their description on. NOT the case here... I cannot stress enough if you aren't much for gore either avoid eating a heavy meal before watching, or don't watch at all, as these French gore-hounds leave no body part, creature, and means of dispatching either/or unexplored. If this film is a litmus test on what Dimension Extreme is releasing, let me tell ya, they ain't exaggerating.

The actors, for the most part, turn in relatable performances. The mystery woman (Beatrice Dalle) has no chance of being relatable, but to the credit of the writer and the actress performing the part, valiant attempts are made to give a relatable reason for someone snapping and going to the craziest of crazy towns... no shit, this woman makes Annie Wilkes look like Mary Poppins.

On the horizon of horror coming our way from US screens, I feel like Noah warning of a bad flood: remakes and ‘re-imagines' are about to drown you and your first-borns! Take one good look at this sole picture, and there is proof that imaginative, talented people are out there that can bring new and memorable work to this generation. Outstanding horror effort... if you can stomach it.


DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English

Language and Sound: English: French: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access..

* Featurettes
o Making of Inside documentary (51:56)
* Trailer: for Inside

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging