A Review of A L' Interieur
A L' Interieur is a 2007 French Film by directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. It is considered to be one of several films that defined a new sub-genre of the splatter or "torture porn" genre known as New French Extreme (along with High Tension, Martyrs, and Frontiers). And 'extreme' is just about the perfect way to describe 'Inside'. This film is one of the most disturbing horror movies ever conceived (no pun intended). Featuring some of the more graphic images and depictions of violence I have ever seen, it is no wonder that large chunks of the film had to be cut for theatrical release.
Four months after a car accident took the life of her husband, a depressed and very pregnant Sarah decides to spend Christmas Eve home alone getting prepared to deliver her baby the next morning. Suddenly in the middle of the night, Sarah is awoken by a stranger knocking on the door, asking to use the phone. But she slowly begins to realize that the woman at the door wants something entirely different altogether… her baby.
Marking the directorial debut of Maury and Bustillo, who also co-wrote the script, 'Inside' goes straight for the jugular and cuts deep. The pace is break-neck and panic inducing. The use of excessive gore has never been used so effectively to tell what is essentially a deeply sad and beautiful story. The use of practical effects and make-up to create most of the on-screen violence makes the movie even more realistic, and my hats off to the entire special effects and make-up departments that worked on this film. They created some of the most brutal and nauseating scenes in any horror film I have ever seen. And unlike other films of the genre, they never let up until the final seconds of the film, in a climax that can only be described as - shocking and depraved. The reveal that follows does not disappoint, showing these visionary directors strength as writers as well.
But the movie could have never been as deeply affective as it was without the star performances by Allyson Paradis and Beatrice Dalle. Paradis is flawless, perfectly conveying both the terror and confusion of Sarah, and her strength when finally confronted by the woman. And Dalle is chilling. Her every facial expression and motion will make your skin crawl. But in the end, both actresses are able to mirror the stark beauty of the narrative with a subtlety that is haunting.
Aside from a few scenes added by the producers in post production of an overly CGI looking baby in-utero, this film is nearly perfect. I highly recommend this film to any horror fans, but I warn you now, you may not make it all the way through if you're squeamish. Happy viewing.
- Leo Francis