Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby. (IMDB synopsis)
I wanted an excuse to include at least one piece of French Extremist horror on my list. Like Japanese horror, it seems to take more chances and make every terror-filled sequence feel more visceral and shocking. The story here concerns a pregnant woman and the stranger who wishes to take her unborn child – so there’s a shattered taboo right there. Let’s dive in.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an online version of this film that had English subtitles, so I had to work with the Wikipedia plot summary and my flimsy grasp of the French language. It’s all right, though; even without subtitles, the viewer gets the gist quite easily. There are only a few moments when it really helps to know what the characters are saying.
In the first shot of the film, a CGI foetus (n’yaaaAAAaAaAAAAaaargh) is shown frowning in discomfort as the amniotic fluid surrounding it turns bright red. The baby’s mother, Sarah, has just been in a car crash which has sadly killed her husband, Matthieu. Shame shame.
Later on, the woman is seen making preparations for the birth, which will take place around Christmas (hurrah!). She’s understandably upset and moody following the death of her husband; even more so after a nurse sits next to her and makes bitchy remarks WHILE SMOKING. Jesus.
Sarah goes home that night to brood over photos of her late hubbie and basically not get into the Christmas spirit at all. And has a horrible nightmare that I don’t even want to describe. This is about as good as Sarah’s going to have it, as a woman turns up at her door wanting to come in – a woman who knows Sarah by name, and knows that her husband is dead. Sarah does the sensible thing by getting photographs of The Woman and calling the police, but unluckily for her, this little incident is only the beginning.
If anyone reading this is thinking about watching this film, then brace yourselves – Inside, also known as À l’intérieur, is BEYOND graphic. Take a back seat, Hostel, because I have found it. This is the one. The Queen of all Splatter Films. I’m serious, the amount of gore and bloodshed is absurd, and it’s not even played for laughs. By the end of the movie, blood is literally gushing down the stairs. I’m not joking. There’s loads of it. (Sorry, I’ll stop now.) But this is what I mean when I say French Extremist horror goes to lengths that other horror films just wouldn’t go. It’s not only about the blood and guts and viscera, it’s the entire concept. This plays into a strong adult fear of child abduction, of having your own child ripped away from you, and in this case, right out of your body. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a pregnant woman watching this; your nerves are already wrecked as it is, the last thing you need is THIS movie. Why not go the whole hog and watch it in a double bill with Alien if you’re going to be–?
Sorry, sorry, I keep going off on a tangent. I should concentrate on the film. Deep breaths.
Why don’t I discuss the characters? Our protagonist, Sarah, may be in an incredibly vulnerable position, but during the course of the film, I actually came to admire how resilient and resourceful she could be. When a strange woman has her trapped inside her own bathroom and is hellbent on taking her unborn child, Sarah doesn’t give in so easily. She does everything right – calls the police, fights back viciously, tries everything to make an escape. There’s one moment in particular when Sarah is ready for her final confrontation with The Woman. She stands up in her blood-soaked nightgown holding a makeshift spear, baby belly sticking out and a fierce, “Don’t-fuck-with-me’ expression on her face. Looks awesome. This makes it all the more tragic when Sarah loses the battle and The Woman claims the foetus – and yes, you get to see the whole process. Bloody hell.
The other main character in this movie is The Woman, whose real name we never learn, adding another level of terror to the entire situation. The Woman is, without question, one of the scariest slasher villains I’ve seen. She never gives up and she never stops stalking and threatening Sarah. All because she lost her own child in the car crash that killed Matthieu. It’s absolutely terrifying how The Woman dispatches all the obstacles that come her way in the most gruesome manner possible. Oh and by the way, I know you’d expect this film to be exclusively about making female audience members squirm, but don’t worry, dudes, there’s something for you to wince at too. (*sniff* It’s OK, Jean-Pierre. Your gonads are in Heaven now.)
And you know what the worst thing is? This really happens. There have been cases of fetal abduction as recently as this year. And that’s terrible.
C’est le film le plus sanglant je l’ai vu à ce jour. C’est vrai, je ne l’ai pas encore vu toutes les horreurs jusqu’ici, mais si vous regardez À l’intérieur sur YouTube ou sur DVD avec des sous-titres Anglaises, faire cela, et dites-moi si vous trouvez un film gore Anglais avec plus de sang dedans. Aussi, essayer de me trouver un film gore Anglais qui est tout aussi belle et astucieuse, car il est impossible.
Alors … oui, je aimé ce film. La seule chose que je changerais est toutes des images de CGI de l’enfant à naître, parce que n’yaaaAAAaAaAAAAaaargh.
8 jam sandwiches.