Let’s get a baby.
After watching the horrific Livid I decided to rewatch this one to see if I was just remembering it wrong.
We follow pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) as she is stalked by a mysterious woman (Beatrice Dalle) who wants to steal the baby from her on Christmas Eve. Four months prior, Sarah is in a car crash that kills her husband and almost kills her and the baby. Now, traumatized, she is trying to make the best of a bad situation.
One thing that is quite odd about this film is how miserable all the characters are. I get Sarah being stressed, but just about everyone seems unhappy or walking on eggshells around her. I know that trauma is important, and how people grieve is significant, but we frame the film like the car accident just happened. Sarah has had four months, which isn’t enough time to fully recover (and her bruises are still visible), but the time jump seems insignificant to character development. The decision to keep Sarah so angry also makes it hard to connect with her as she just wants to be alone and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
Ask anyone about Inside and they’ll talk about the ridiculous rollercoaster the film turns into. However, no one will be able to contain themselves for the boring as hell first act. I remember it starting slow, but holy cow. We are treated to Sarah grimacing through her entire day. We’re also treated to some seriously lackluster CGI, which I had forgotten about.
Anyway, about twenty minutes in Sarah gets a creepy knock at the door by someone who knows who she is and seems threatening. To her credit, Sarah does at least call the police, but hangs up before they arrive. She also takes pictures… and goes and develops them? Where are the cops? Why does she go to bed?
Look, the setup is absurd. For being one of the most ball-to-the-wall gore fests ever made it sure starts slow. There is a level of tension once we are introduced to our mysterious woman, but before then it is kind of a slog. The pacing issues here are amplified in their next project. There is a difference between a slow burn and simply trying to run out the clock to get the film to an acceptable running time. The film is short, but would another twenty minutes fewer be that big of a deal?
Now that I am done complaining. Some of the shots in this one are simply breathtaking. When they get to the tension it is tense. Excellent ghostly scenes of our psychotic woman in the house lingering in the shadows are chilling. The parts of this movie that work are simply excellent. I do wish we had more consistency in the pacing though.
One thing that has always bother me about this one is why the madwoman doesn’t have a weapon already. She has to raid supplies from Sarah’s bathroom to get everything she needs, which seems quite odd. This is clearly not a random act, but something planned, what if there was no antiseptic in the house? Once again, before we get to the madness in earnest it seems we were running the clock as much as we could.
We are subjected to idiot friends and police as the situation keeps getting more and more out of hand. How Sarah manages to stay conscious (or perhaps even alive) after some of the wounds she receives early in the film is beyond me.
Cool moments in an over-the-top-bloodbath are dragged down by pacing issues, odd decisions, and gaps in the logic. It is weird, when I first saw this one, I was enthralled. Now, it bored me more than anything else. The whole thing gets ridiculous in the end, including a nonsensical zombie scene… I guess I found it more silly than anything else.
It is worth seeing for extreme horror fans, but it just isn’t that good.