What I'm Watching: Inside
Huh. Let me just blow the dust off this place. It's been two months since I did a WIW? Oops. I've been so focused on the main Trisk reviews, and my newish project, The Blood Stream (Which you should totally check out!) that this kept slipping and slipping. I have good intentions of doing these more frequently, but we all know what good intentions are worth.
ANYways, I watched a movie today! I watch movies most days, but I felt like writing about this one.
As can be told by the title, I watched "Inside". It stars Rachel Nichols (Of P2, Alias, and Continuum), and Laura Harring. The plot centers around a pregnant woman, Sarah, who gets in a horrible accident, and loses her husband in the crash.
The movie follows her as she settles in back home after her recovery in the hospital, and someone shows up one night, interested in taking the baby from her. The bulk of the movie is Sarah's harrowing night trying to survive in her own home.
This is a remake of a foreign movie, that was a critical darling. I heard a lot of thoughts that this movie couldn't live up to the original (as people always say) and this was going to suck. Now, I've never seen the original, so I can't compare the two, but I will say this; I really enjoyed this movie, and a lot of that comes down to the performances.
Inside is a simple movie, with a simple plot, so a lot is riding on Rachel Nichol's acting abilities, and to a lesser extent, Laura Harring. With a little more being placed on how the movie handles tension and horror; does it make you feel for Sarah, does she feel in danger?
And all of those work. There's a few moments where Harring chews some scenery (when she's not bashing into it with a kitchen knife), but the heightened emotions in those moments aren't too bad.
I've long been a fan of Nichols, and she's just as good as she's always been. In P2, she played a woman who got captured, trapped in confined spaces, and struggled to survive, set to a backdrop of Christmas. Which is exactly the same as THIS movie, with an entirely different situation and story, but geeze, she needs to start being more careful around Christmas!
Rachel learned a lot in that previous role, and while there are similarities here, she does a commendable job of fighting against her attacker, while trying to survive and protect her unborn baby. Everything she does is believable, and what a normal person might do in this situation. And she's a skilled actress that makes you feel for her in the time before the attacks begin, and having a baby adds to the danger she's in, and difficulty she faces, as labour is induced and its a ticking clock until the baby is born, whether she wants it to come or not.
While a lot of time is spent with her trapped in the bathroom, she makes the most of her time, comes up with a few plans, and almost succeeds when the time comes. The movie risks becoming stagnant or boring as it keeps coming back to the same place, and spends a lot of time there, but it keeps things interesting as the two women play off each other, information is dribbled out to keep us invested, and it's a drawn out cat and mouse game.
There are only two moments of Movie Dumb, but they're still largely acceptable. One is when a cop has gone inside the house and discovers the attacker, and gets killed. His partner eventually comes looking for him, and I can't believe she didn't call it in, or call for any sort of backup. She might be a rookie, might've thought it was nothing, but it feels like she screwed up protocol.
The second moment is, once the two cops are dead, Sarah never makes an attempt to use either of their personal radios to call for help. This could be merely down to opportunity, as there is a LOT going on, but to not even make an attempt feels like a stretch. Also, with everything going on, it's not too hard to imagine she just didn't think of it, and I did while sitting here in the calm, comfy confines of my own home. Sarah DOES make an attempt once she gets to the POLICE CAR and uses THAT radio, so that's something.
Also, as an aside? Sarah's kid? Let's see, it survives in a car that flips over like...27 times, multiple falls, including one that goes face first, another car crash later on...if none of this killed that kid? NOTHING EVER WILL, she will be invincible.
The other failing of the movie is, they set up that Sarah suffers hearing loss during the car crash that takes her husband. She's constantly fiddling with her hearing aid after the crash, throughout the movie. And it's just kinda there. It has a few tense moments where the sound is muffled and Sarah can't hear what's going on, but they are few and far between, and all this feels like a missed opportunity. I may also just have been spoiled by the movie "Hush". If you have a character that can't hear, that COULD be great times for horror, but no such moments really occur.
Still, this is a good, tense thriller, with a simple story, and told very well. Although there is a moment towards the end, where Sarah falls into a covered pool, cuts her way through the cover, and pushes her way out through the slit, into the world. And to borrow a phrase from Film Brain, "SYMBOLISM!!" It's a bit on the nose, that metaphor, but it works too.
Inside isn't a game changer of a movie, but it still has plenty of tense moments, good acting, good action, and it wraps up nicely. I really have no complaints, aside from minor nits, and definitely recommend this. Could it be better? Apparently so, but it's still pretty good as is, is a very satisfying movie, so give it a watch!