Cinematic Katzenjammer is hosting an interesting blogathon in honor of Halloween, horror, and the month of October. Bloggers are invited to write about the most [eff'd] up move they've ever seen. As soon as I saw the title of the blogathon, I knew what I had to go with. À l’intérieur (Inside) is a 2007 French horror film that exists only to torment the viewer. It is a disturbing exercise in existential nihilism that only exists to suggest that traditional notions of family and honor no longer exist.
I stumbled into this one time only viewing years ago when I was a regular on the IMDB horror board. Everyone was raving about a brutal horror film that just got a DVD release in the US. I was assured that it was well-made with great acting and a strong concept. I was lied to.
The opening scene of the film is enough to kill any interest a non-gore fan could have in the film. A baby is seen in utero. Her mother is calmly talking to her when a terrible car accident happens. It's a mess. There's no way everyone involved could possibly get out alive and it's a miracle that the infant survives at all. We're talking hamburger on asphalt status.
From there, the rest of the film chronicles the soon-to-be mother's attempts to ward off a psychopath trying to steal her unborn baby the night before the scheduled delivery. The other woman is relentless, killing anyone who gets in her way and constantly torturing the pregnant woman.
I'm firmly of the belief that if you're not allowed to write about everything, you can't write at all. However, that does not mean that I believe the responsible or proper choice is to take everything to the extreme. À l’intérieur could have been a moody cat and mouse game if anyone had cared to write characters or plot beyond "pregnant woman fights assailant trying to steal her unborn child." This was clearly an exercise in bloodshed for the sake of bloodshed and I cannot get behind it.
In my original review, I compared the development of this film to randomly mashing buttons on the keyboard. Sure, something is produced in the end. It just has no substance, meaning, or direction. À l’intérieur is the horror film equivalent to falling asleep on a keyboard and hitting print. You're just wasting ink and giving yourself a headache.
For crossing such a strong cultural taboo and making no effort to transcend the violence into a worthwhile experience, À l’intérieur is the most [eff'd] up movie I've ever seen. You can read my full review here.