Is France the new Japan? Time was, you wanted to hijack a horror plot, you'd look to the Far East for fodder; now, apparently, it's the Gauls spawning our English-language cheapie remakes. The latest import comes by way of 2007's Inside (or, originally, A l'interieur), in some books the paragon of the New French Extremity, although for this reviewer that distinction clearly belongs to Pascal Laugier's Martyrs (2008). Both films made a strong enough impression to occasion the decade-later rehash treatment — a notoriety owing, perhaps, to the originals' uncompromising fierceness of vision, an unwillingness on the filmmakers' part to kowtow to their audiences' need for moments of respite. In the case of the new Inside at least, that begs the question of why the remake would hew more or less faithfully to the beats of the original while shuffling off its unfaltering relentlessness.
Director Miguel Angel Vivas demonstrates occasional inspiration (an early scene set in near-total silence is a stunner), but in allowing the pace to flag and the atmosphere to dissipate, he exposes the thinness of Inside's story: Expectant mother (here, Rachel Nichols) gets into car crash, recovers, is stalked in the night by second lady (a coolly patrician Laura Harring, replacing the ferocious Beatrice Dalle) who wants what's (wait for it) inside her. That's it. The rest -- which includes no shortage of bad acting, lots of ham-handed dialogue and, notably, far less gore than in the French version -- is all sound and fury, signifying nothing so much as an attempt to cash in with American viewers who don't like "reading" their movies.
Miguel Ángel VivasLaura Harring, Rachel Nichols, Stany CoppetJaume Balagueró, Manu Díez, Alexandre Bustillo, Julien MauryVertical Entertainment
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