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Frightfest 2017 Review: Inside

Pregnancy has been big in horror as far back as Rosemary’s Baby, Polanski’s seminal 1968 classic that has yet to be equalled, let alone bettered. Ten years ago, French film-making duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (also the guys behind Leatherface) got as close as anyone has with Inside. Timing is important because now, a decade later, the American remake is upon us.

As with virtually every remake, the big question is why? Are there no good ideas left that film-makers are forced to head into the archives in search of something to pillage? Is ten years even enough time to wait before remaking a movie? These questions and more will likely not be answered by Inside, Miguel Ángel Vivas’ unnecessary, super-Americanized take on the tale.

To be fair, he has a couple of the [REC] guys on-board as writers (the script is credited to four people, including the original directors), so clearly some care went into it. In spite of this, much of the film involves characters standing around explaining the plot to each other. And, considering there isn’t much plot to speak of in the first place, this only highlights already obvious cracks.

Inside remake 3

The setup is simple; an expectant mother, recently widowed in a tragic accident, is terrorised at home alone on Christmas Eve by a mysterious woman intent on stealing, of all things, her unborn child. The two remain engaged in a battle of wits for 90-odd minutes until the inevitable occurs and a new life is brought screaming into the world (spoiler alert?).

Inside is an odd movie. It has no reason to exist, bringing nothing new to the table save for a Hollywood sheen that will no doubt please the multiplex crowd who are going to eat this shit up in the same way they turned away, disgusted, at mother! Pregnancy in itself is weird and gross, not to mention still a hot topic, so there isn’t too much extra stuff needed to craft a scary premise.

It’s weird enough having a female antagonist but when she’s played by Laura Harring, AKA Rita from Mulholland Dr., we know we’re really in strange territory here. To their credit, Harring and Rachel Nichols (who plays the unnamed mother) do their best with what little they’re given, while the script pokes fun at the fact they’re both female (“Are you sure it was a woman?” a cop asks).

Inside remake 2Mother acts like a normal, rational human being too, refusing to let the stranger in before immediately locking all doors and windows and calling the police for assistance. Of course, it doesn’t really matter with material this outlandish – a lightning flash reveals the assailant standing in the room, every scare is of the quiet-quiet-BANG variety – but is still worth noting.

All things considered, although Inside is very contrived and silly, it’s also fun, entertaining, stylistically interesting and, at times, blackly comic (as when well-meaning characters are accidentally killed). It’s super glossy and will bore the hell out of horror fans who know the original, but this is sure to do gangbusters with the Friday night crowd who have no idea it’s even a remake.

WICKED RATING: 5/10
Director(s): Miguel Ángel Vivas
Writer(s):
Jaume Balagueró, Manu Díez, Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo    
Stars: Rachel Nichols, Laura Harring, Stany Coppet, Andrea Tivadar
Release: TBC
Studio/ Production Co: Embankment Films
Language: English
Length: 100 minutes
Sub-Genre: Pregnancy

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Written by Joey Keogh
Slasher fanatic Joey Keogh has been writing since she could hold a pen, and watching horror movies even longer. Aside from making a little home for herself at Wicked Horror, Joey also writes for Birth.Movies.Death, The List, and Vague Visages among others. Her actual home boasts Halloween decorations all year round. Hello to Jason Isaacs.
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