Inside (2007)

Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.

Inside (À l’intérieur) is a 2007 French horror film directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, starring Alysson Paradis and Béatrice Dalle. It concerns the attack and home-invasion of a young pregnant woman by a mysterious stranger who seeks to take her unborn baby.

It was part of the new-wave of French horror, alongside films like Martyrs and Frontier(s). I would say that arguably Inside is the most violent and brutal out of them all. Maybe it is just because the subject matter is so severe, a woman terrorizing a pregnant woman, and the graphic violence on show makes this a tough watch.


The basic plot revolves around a married couple, Sarah and Matthieu, who a few months before Christmas were in a car crash, of which Sarah and her unborn baby were the only survivors. We then cut to Christmas Eve, where we see Sarah home alone, still grieving for her husband as she prepares to go to the hospital the next morning for the delivery of her baby. As night falls, a mysterious woman knocks on Sarah’s door asking to use the phone. When she refuses, the woman reveals that she knows Sarah and tries to force her way in. Sarah calls the police; they inspect the home and determine the woman has left, but promise to keep watch over Sarah through the night. The woman returns and tries to take Sarah’s unborn child, but Sarah locks herself in the bathroom. We then watch on as the strange woman torments Sarah through the night and refuses to let anyone help her.


The film really is brutal and unrelenting. Whilst most of the action takes place in Sarah’s home with just the two woman on show, we do get to see some visitors to the house in the form of family, bosses and the police. This adds a nice change of pace as every time I felt Sarah may get rescued from this hell, but ‘The Woman’ hunting Sarah shows how adept she is at getting what she came for and staying alive.

As I’ve mentioned, Inside is really a visceral, bloody film. This is not for the faint-hearted, torture and killing are constant throughout. The torture and pain caused looked so realistic, and I definitely winced a couple of times. Throw is some animal cruelty and it shows how far ‘The Woman’ is prepared to go. All of the ‘weapons’ used are household items pretty much, so that added a true sense of realism to the film. The majority of which involve long sewing needles and scissors. ‘The Woman’ does love her scissors………


At 82 minutes it is short but this stops the film from ever dragging. Once the action starts it never lets up, and with a great, unconventional conclusion, Inside really is a film to see if you like your movies extreme. The main leads both do a great job. I felt so bad for Sarah going through this horrible ordeal after just losing her husband. The villain of the piece steals the show here though, and she is creepy, psychotic, sadistic, calculated and motivated to get what she came for. Once her intentions are made clear and we understand why she chose Sarah, you still can’t do anything but hate and fear her. She was a Micheal Myers-esque type of villain at some moments, and at other times she managed to move silently and scarily just out of shot of the people trying to help Sarah. One scene in particular when she walks past the bathroom door was brilliantly done. Always knowing where the good guys are, she was able to quickly and effectively take out the competition. A fantastic character, really good to see a villain played so well and be truly terrifying. She is up there with Asami from the Japanese horror classic Audition in my eyes as the best female villain I’ve seen for some time.


Inside is not without its flaws. I felt I had to leave some logistical stuff ‘at the door’ so to speak, and when a certain twist is revealed, I guess whilst I was surprised part of me thought it would/could never happen in real life. The music score gets slightly annoying when it introduces loud, obnoxious noises at violent moments, I found that more distracting than scary. And the CGI shots of the unborn baby were different to say the least. That aside though, the directors gave us a thrilling ride of a movie and I was happy to look past one or two questionable points of it. It’s not something I’m in a rush to see again but I definitely recommend it if you like your films bloody and extreme.

7 stars

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  1. Mike

     /  July 14, 2012

    Glad to see someone covering this film. I really enjoyed it and found it relentless. Ans as you mentioned, Martyrs and Frontier(s) are similar. Those who enjoyed the aforementioned films should like Inside as well.


  2. Yup, the villain was scary. But you forgot to say, that the villain is also beautiful! So I did fear her, but I also would’ve liked to get her into bed. My fave part was when she killed the cops. AWESOME. Pity you didn’t enjoy the film as much as I did… The only thing I didn’t like about it was the CGI flame to the face. THAT looked fake, but a friend of mine (who hates CGI more than I do) thought the flame looked OK.


    • No way man, I couldn’t see her face because of her massive teeth! Not attractive to me. 🙂 I did enjoy the film, 7/10 is pretty good viewing, I just didn’t quite enjoy it or think it was as good as Martyrs or Frontiers which I scored an 8. I didn’t think the flame was too bad, CGI baby was a bit weird looking though!


  3. Such an amazing movie! The only thing I didn’t like was when The Woman has a mini-breakdown and starts screaming, and the filmmakers edit the film in that glitchy-interference style that these days seems synonymous with “psychotic”, as well as the nightmare Sarah has about giving birth — but beyond that, from start to finish I was absolutely enthralled.


    • Yeah that was a bit random, seemed a little out of character. Maybe before all this happened she was normal but got pushed over the edge…….The loud noises with some violent scenes was the most annoying for me, felt it didn’t need that really. Agree though about it being an enthralling movie, definitely unrelenting once the action kicked in, cool ending and all in all a film people should see if they like their horror movies! Thanks for your comment buddy, appreciate it.


  1. The Strangers (2008) | Head In A Vice
  2. Martyrs (2008) | Head In A Vice
  3. Frontier(s) (2007) | Head In A Vice
  4. Frontier(s) (2007) | Head In A Vice

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