Starring: Alysson Paradis, Béatrice Dalle
Directed By: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Written By: Alexandre Bustillo
As if there was any question, It’s official; France is where the center of the excellence of modern day horror. Their brand of horror is brutal and unrelenting, but with meaning. They expose problems in society and creatively do this with gore that manages to offer some perspective on the horror. Frontier(s) is still my favorite, mostly because it manages to artistically deal with the political and societal problems through representations of imprisonment and the idea of the perfect race. The paranoid state seems to be nothing less than logical in a world so screwed up. Inside is a much simpler story and I appreciate that it does follow an intriguing and very possible story, made very severe through the constant chase and bloody rampage of one very scorned woman.
The film opens on an already very bloody, injured, scared, and pregnant, Sarah (Paradis). She is being chased by an angered and insane woman (Dalle). Sarah uses the bathroom as a hiding place, but she ends up getting trapped in there. This puts her killer in the perfect position. When the police come to help, the killer is thought to be the victim and is able to get rid of the policeman while Sarah is trapped, growing weaker than ever. Just as Sarah is about to find a way out, her hand is stabbed to the wall with piercingly sharp scissors. The woman has so much rage, and aggressive tact that even when the police come back, learning of the crimes she has committed, they are ultimately no match for her. Her attacker won’t stop until she gets what she wants from Sarah; her baby.
There isn’t much dialogue in the film, especially from Alysson Paradis as Sarah. She was completely fear stricken. She showed pain and immense suffering in her face. Sarah kept on trying to get through the hell she was in, even though it would be much easier to just give in and end her life then and there. She keeps going as her desperation and anger gets deeper and deeper. Béatrice Dalle gives us a very vengeful woman who is completely relentless. It really seems as if she doesn’t have a conscious, but we realize that it has just been ripped away due to her loss.
Motherhood and protecting it is of the up most importance to the characters of the film. We learn that there is a reason to the madness; it is more than a random home invasion. The killer’s morals, mind, and her sense of decency for others is gone. She wants a baby in her arms no matter what she has to do in order for that to happen. Even though she seems crazy from start to finish, we still understand what she was doing and why she was doing it.
Sarah’s paternal instincts are clear as well. There is an element of self-preservation in the fight for her life, but she has her baby’s life in her hands as well. Sarah wanted to get them out of this horrible situation so her baby would have a chance. In Frontier(s) motherhood is dealt with to some extent too. The conclusion though is that there is nothing noble about it. Bringing a child in to a world with so much hate, violence, and injustice is just setting them up for despair, never knowing just how soon that will result in their own death. Inside tackles the desire and need for motherhood in a more positive light, but also it leaves death, pain, and suffering it its path.
For you gore fans this is one intense cat and mouse murderous chase full of very uncomfortable moments of blood, blood, and more blood from start to finish. One of the most grotesque scenes is while trying to get away from her murderer, Sarah is about to have her baby. In this moment, there is not much Sarah can do to save herself. Her attacker has the full advantage and what she wants is about to come out. Sarah finds a way to viciously begin to play her attacker’s game, protecting her baby at all costs. Inside is a fast paced film, but the continuous and relentless torment scenes almost seem to make time stop, every excruciating moment lingering on. The best thing about the gore is that it’s not pointless, it fuels the story and makes it that much more powerful. It shows the extremes of these battling women and how they both are pushed to do things they never thought they would, unleashing the massive amount of terror that the child will be born among.