INSIDE (Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury). 83 minutes. Subtitled. Screens Wednesday (April 16) at 9:30 pm at the Bloor Cinema. Rating: NNNN
Had it screened earlier in last year's Toronto Film Festival, I have no doubt that Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's bloody, intense thriller Inside would have been the biggest hit of the Midnight Madness program.
Instead, it played on TIFF's closing day, too late for exhausted critics to take any notice of it – or for its U.S. distributor, the Weinstein Company, to think seriously about giving the film a theatrical release.
Inside is being shunted directly to DVD next month; this special screening at the Bloor Cinema, as the latest of Rue Morgue magazine's monthly CineMacabre Movie Nights, will be its sole commercial playdate in Toronto.
This, my friends, is a crying shame. Because Inside is a damned fine horror movie – a no-prisoners nightmare in which a heavily pregnant Alysson Paradis is stalked within her own home by the demented Béatrice Dalle, who is willing to deliver Paradis' unborn child by any icky means necessary.
Co-directors Bustillo and Maury are big, big fans of Dario Argento, whose splatteriffic thrillers helped codify the operatic Italian slasher genre known as giallo in the late 1960s and 1970s. And the French dialogue notwithstanding, Inside is steeped in the old master's mode of escalating threats and excruciating violence – though the pacing and the technical proficiency are distinctly contemporary. Argento's latest film, The Mother of Tears, also played Midnight Madness last year; compared to this, it looks like the work of a distracted codger.
Watching Inside is the kind of experience that's only enhanced with a crowd of several hundred like-minded enthusiasts – you know, the kind of people who packed the megaplexes over the weekend to see the Prom Night remake. Except that this movie would have actually scared them.