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  Inside Inducement To Terror
Year: 2007
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Stars: Béatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis, Nathalie Rousseau, François Régis Marchasson, Jean-Basptiste Tabourin, Dominique Frot, Claude Lulé, Hyam Zetoun, Tahar Rahim, Emmanuel Guez, Ludovic Berthillot, Emmanuel Lanzi, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Aymen Saïdi
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It was four months ago that tragedy struck Sarah (Alysson Paradis) as she was driving her car in poor conditions, lost control and smashed into an oncoming vehicle, a head on collision. Pregnant at the time, she did not lose her baby, but she did lose her husband, and has spent the time in between recuperating, working as a photographer, and not wishing to shake off the depression that has settled over her. But now it is Christmas Eve and the birth is due tomorrow, so after a hospital appointment the doctor sends her home for her last night of peace and quiet...

Some hope of that as filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, making their debut feature, have already decided that for Sarah, putting her through the loss of her spouse is not enough. Inside, or À l'intérieur as it was originally known, was part of the fresh wave of horror to emerge from Europe after the turn of the millennium, many of which were characterised by extreme situations and plentiful gore, as if goading the audience into walking out or turning off. Here, in spite of the lead character being put through hell, the possibility of her surviving her ordeal is what keeps you watching: how can she get out of this one?

That ordeal begins after about half an hour of set up, and a gloomy half hour it is too with Sarah understandably not looking forward to bringing up her child alone, especially in these circumstances. She arranges with her boss to be brought to hospital the next day, tells her mother she does not wish to be around anyone until then, and goes home to her cat to spend the rest of the night watching the news on television. This plays out against the backdrop of Parisien riots, not apparently to make any big political statements, but simply to offer a sense of malaise outside of what Sarah is feeling on Christmas Eve.

She's not looking forward to opening her presents, it's safe to say, but someone is looking forward to opening her, and that's the mystery woman who shows up at her door asking to be let in. Sarah fobs her off, but is worried when the woman lets slip that she knows quite a lot about her, and then appears at the patio doors and thumps her fist into them, silently watching her prey. That she is played by Béatrice Dalle and is never given a name could prompt viewers to thinking that the actress was playing herself, which would make this even more loopy, but whoever this sinister presence is she wants in - not only inside the house but inside Sarah's womb as well.

The horrifying phenomenon of crazed women who tear unborn babies from expectant mothers appears to be peculiarly American, or at least it was when this film was made, but those disturbing news stories are what inform the shocks here. That feeling of motherhood perverted into something ghastly, those natural urges turned into an atrocity, although motherhood goes both ways and can be as much about protecting your child from would-be attackers, probably more so. Therefore Sarah discovers her passion for being a mum in the most harrowing way as she determines to stop the mad woman from cutting her open, although if you think about it, all Dalle needed to do was wait a day and she wouldn't have had to go through this rigmarole with the big pair of scissors. It ends with a bastardised Madonna and Child image and in the middle the spirit of Yule is very much absent as Dalle destroys the cast, but for a tense experience, these guys knew how to push the audience's buttons. Music by François Eudes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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