Christmas Eve night. Sarah, a young pregnant widow, sits alone in an isolated house. Tomorrow, her boss will take her to the hospital to deliver. But tonight, still grieving the recent death of her husband, she wants solitude. A knock at the door. A woman outside begs to use Sarah’s phone. Sarah demurs. The woman insists, calling Sarah by name. Alarmed, Sarah refuses. The woman leaves but Sarah soon catches sight of her outside a large window. The mysterious woman pounds the glass, then vanishes. Soon the woman is inside, and Sarah must fight for her and her unborn child’s lives.
The early atmosphere reminded me of Them. Béatrice Dalle’s memorable turn as the unnamed scissor-wielding woman still resonates today in films like Us and Malignant. But the script writes itself into a corner when Sarah locks herself in the bathroom. From there, things get stupid.
What began as a taunt thriller degenerates into a haughty bit of inanity. Though Sarah demonstrates capable self-preservation instincts early, she’s soon unable to stand up or hold a gun. Fair enough, but later—when the script writes itself into another corner—she proves capable of giving herself a tracheotomy. Her agency only exists to save the writers, not herself.
We’re also presented with continued reaction shots from Sarah’s unborn child—a computer generated cartoon that only lends the film an air of pretension.
I’m not sure what Inside was attempting. It begins as a serious thriller, then shifts to an Evil Dead style over-the-top gore fest. I must admit to roaring with laughter at a certain shotgun death, so this turn had potential. But the animated blood detracts from the fun, as does the self-serious plot twist.
Despite the result, I applaud the effort. A swing and a miss, yes, but the image of razor sharp scissors hovering over a belly swollen with child is one I won’t soon forget.