“No one can hurt him now, no one”
A l’interieur aka Inside is a film that can be likened to a kick in the face. Inside is a brutal, relentless & incredibly bloody movie that gives new meaning to the phrase New French Extremity. It’s violent content is easily as graphic as the powerhouse that is Martyrs, the movie itself isn’t quite the masterpiece Martyrs is but is a film that deserves & demands your attention, even if it is just to witness Beatrice Dalle’s wonderful performance.
Inside begins with a pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) who is involved in a car crash in bad weather which kills her husband. The film then skips forward to christmas eve, a depressed Sarah, who is struggling to come to terms with life without her husband is making final preparations for the birth of her baby, who is due the next day. That evening a stranger (Beatrice Dalle) knocks on the door & asks to use the phone to call for help. Sarah lies & says her husband is asleep, the woman answers by telling Sarah that her husband is dead. Sarah takes a photo through the door & calls the police. The police arrive but can find no trace of the woman, as they leave they promise Sarah they will have a patrol car come by to check on her throughout the night. Sarah develops the picture & recognises the woman from a picture she took earlier in the day. Sarah goes to bed but is woken by the woman, who is now in her bedroom with a pair of scissors trying to cut her stomach. Sarah fights the woman off & locks herself in the bathroom. It soon becomes clear the woman is there to take Sarah’s baby.
Beatrice Dalle is an actress I fell in love with in Betty Blue (Possibly the greatest movie ever made) Her debut movie performance in that film was incredible. She is as far as I’m concerned the most beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen. Since Betty Blue her career has never quite matched the promise her debut hinted at. She has starred in some truly dreadful movies, none more so than the awful Trouble Every Day (which I will review one day if I can face sitting through it again). Her personal life has also been dogged by controversy. I’m glad to say with Inside Beatrice Dalle is back to her best. Dalle completely dominates this movie in a role that on the page has very little to it. Billed simply as La Femme, Dalle’s role is almost a “shape” like character. During the early stages of the movie Dalle creates a genuine air of menace, it is as the film builds to its climax that Dalle’s motives are revealed & her performance really shines. Dalle is ably supported by Alysson Paradis who gives a wonderfully downbeat performance as Sarah. Inside is not without its flaws, the plot isn’t that strong & the ending is pretty obvious after 15 odd minutes. But it is the imagery in the last reel that is shocking & extremely graphic. Inside sets out to shock & succeeds on just about every level in that respect. The final scene on the staircase is one of the most graphically harrowing scenes ever filmed.
In closing Inside is not as good as Martyrs or Haute Tension, but having said that so few films are. Inside is a film that I would recommend but only if you have a very strong stomach & can handle scenes of extreme bloodshed & brutality.