Let’s watch a remake.

Inside or A L’intereiur is a smashing 2007 French film about a psychotic woman who wants to kidnap a child from a pregnant mother. The original is claustrophobic, gory, insane, and an absolute mad rush of extreme cinema. I wasn’t aware the film was remade in 2016 and have avoided the Americanized Martyrs for similar reasons as I should have avoided this one.

Why remake an extreme horror movie? I honestly don’t see how or why this is a wise investment. The cult followers are always going to look askance at a watered-down version of a classic in the genre. Further, how do you market this? An extreme (but less so) horror movie? It is still rated R, so it won’t have the widest audience.

However, I have prided myself on giving remakes or reboots a lot of leeway and try to evaluate them on their own. Though, it was hard this time.

Mainstream American horror movies have a hard time letting the audience sit with any sense of unknowing. We get a lot more filler dialogue in the beginning of this one. Characters who are sad have to showcase their sadness constantly.

We follow Sarah (Rachel Nichols), a pregnant woman who survives a car crash (but her husband does not) and she is now isolated over the holidays and about to give birth. However, her isolation isn’t as full here. We get too much time with her and her friends before the inevitable attack occurs. With so many people present it is harder to take the isolated and alone feel the movie needs seriously.

Where the original relied on gore and sheer brutality to ramp up the tension this one utilizes jump scares and loud noises. I found myself turning the volume up and down throughout the entire film as the dialogue is too quiet and everything else is too loud.

The film follows the same beats as the original. A psychotic woman wants to cut the baby out of a pregnant woman. Pregnant woman is trapped in her home. A steady stream of idiotic outsiders come in to ramp up the body count.

Does the film work? No. Not really. As I noted above, I try to see these movies on their own merits and not draw endless comparisons to the original, but I can’t do that here. There is nothing here that gives this film its own identity. Everything is a pale imitation of the original. Even the lighting is worse! How can the lighting be worse!?! How can the blood effects be worse on a newer film!?

The only good thing I can say about this movie is that it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the original. Watch that one. Not only is it the better movie, but it is also foreign so you can trick your friends into thinking they’re watching something sophisticated.

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