DVD Review – The Inside (2010)

The Inside, 2010.

Written and Directed by Eoin Macken.
Starring Tereza Srbova, Emmett Scanlan, Sean Stewart, Natalia Kostrzewa, Brian Fortune, Kellie Blaise, Vanessa Fahy and Eoin Macken.

The Inside DVD cover

SYNOPSIS:

A man discovers a tape which depicts a group of girls being by tormented by violent vagrants before succumbing to a horrific supernatural evil. 

When The Blair Witch Project, somewhat inconceivably, burst into cinematic pop culture in 1999, and popularized the found footage sub-genre, it started a wave of similar films, which still to this day continue. The popularity of the Paranormal Activity franchisehas also had a big impact on the horror genre and filmmakers’ desire to delve into the found footage genre. With every new one that appears, little that could be called original is created. Once more audiences will discover the lost footage of something ghastly and paranormal with The Inside, an Irish made horror film.

When a man (played by the writer and director Eoin Macken) pawns his ring for a bit of cash and a camcorder, he gets more than he bargained for. He looks over the tape that has been left behind and finds the beginnings of a home video of five girls about to celebrate one of their birthday. Foolishly deciding to party in an abandoned building, with one boyfriend in tow, things go awry when a group of vagrants gate-crash and begin terrorising (and raping) them. Things however take a supernatural turn as dark and (initially) unseen forces take the terror up a notch or two.

The Inside doesn’t particularly do anything new. It’s a film too that is incredibly uncomfortable to watch. This idea that found footage films have to feature so much shaky camera work is partly realistic, but in part overdone. Not every “real” person is completely unable to hold a camera something close to still. The film disorientates and the constant screaming doesn’t help. It’s no a pleasant film by any stretch. But that is of course the point. What Macken and his cast do well is intensity. You are drawn into what is happening, particularly when things start going wrong. It’s well acted, very naturalistic, but again, on a cinematic level, it’s not easy to watch. The film is most interesting in the middle third as the film turns supernatural and we follow the camera holder and whoever she happens to be with. It’s quite involving, making good use of a very creepy setting, especially the underground caverns.

The problem is, the film takes a little too long to get going. It’s a found footage faux-pas perhaps, that we have to see so much run of the mill, everyday happenings with cast. The Inside is not alone in this of course, and some of the most iconic of this genre, like Paranormal Activity, similarly took a bit too long to get going. Furthermore the finale kind of feels tacked on, after what could be an ending, when the film switches from found footage to more conventional horror. It lacks the same energy, and at this point I felt drained to be honest. Whether other viewers will have enough left to give as the last 15 minutes kicks in is debatable.

Fans of these sort of films will appreciate much of what this low budget, though slightly illogical film has to offer, and indeed may get a kick out of the intensity of the piece. Fans of more conventional forms of horror, or more cinematic, will probably find this a little too hard to watch. At the very least this tries for something a little different, even if the result isn’t that consistent.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ 

Tom Jolliffe

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