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DVD Review: Inside

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This film is brought to American audiences courtesy of Dimension Extreme, the horror specialty label of The Weinstein Company and distributed by Genuis Products. Is it me, or does it seem like each film (DVD or theatrical) has more and more studio tags added to it? Anyway, with regard to the company tag, I have been burned by films being labeled "extreme" and other such terms that have been appropriated by marketing committees all around Hollywood so I had little reason to believe that Inside would be truly "extreme" enough to genuinely deserve the label emblazoned above the logo.

As a test, I gave the film to my father for a preview run, to see how he reacted. Now, he is a horror fan, not quite to the level that I am, but he enjoys a good gore fest and was left unfazed by Cannibal Holocaust (a film that haunted me for weeks). This could prove to be an interesting test.

Off my father went, pulled out his laptop, slapped on his headphones and pressed play. As he watched, I left the room, undoubtedly working on another review. Occasionally I would step out of my cave to try and gauge how the viewing was going. On more than one occasion I would catch him grimacing with a chuckle, as if shocked by what he saw. Once the viewing was over, I asked him how it was; his reaction told me everything I needed to know. With a small gasp, a nod of the head, and a half-smile, he said it was rough. I asked him if it was good. He couldn't answer that, but I already knew the answer — it had to be yes. Yes, it is a good movie, he was glad he saw it, but thought it would be worth my time to view it before putting his final stamp on it. How could I refuse? I mean, I already planned on watching it, but my father's reactions made me look forward to it even more. Perhaps it will live up to the "Dimension Extreme" label, unlike, say, Buried Alive.

Inside opens like no other film I have ever seen, but to get to that, you have to see the cover depicting a pregnant belly, with a barely visible unborn child inside, while a pair of scissors hover dangerously above, not to mention the blood splatter. Now, the first scene of the film takes place inside the womb, a still-forming child is front and center. You hear muffled voices followed by screeching tires, a crash, and the child slams against the womb wall with an obviously pained expression. I have to say it is quite the opening, daring and unique. As we cut to the outside, a brutal car accident is revealed, with our central character, a pregnant woman named Sarah (Alysson Paradis), bloodied and injured, in a badly damaged car.

Following the credits we catch back up with Sarah four months later. Christmas is approaching, a holiday shared with her due date. Sarah is a shell of a person. After losing her husband (or boyfriend — it isn't made clear) she has lost that zest for life — not that she wants to die, but she is clearly not happy. Anyway, she is going about her final plans for going to the hospital for the delivery before settling in for an evening alone. This is where it all begins to go sideways.

A woman shows up on Sarah's doorstep asking for help, claiming that her car broke down. Sarah doesn't buy it for a moment, but then the woman reveals she knows a lot about her. What follows is an escalating level of violence, insanity, and blood. This is not going to be a good night for Sarah, as this woman reveals she is after the baby and will let nothing stand in her way.

Doesn't sound all that extreme, does it? Don't be fooled, this is a no-holds-barred fight to the death. There is a mounting tension and an insane amount of bloodshed that will get inside your head and put you on the edge of your seat. The unnamed assailant never stops, revealing her unparalleled insanity — heaven help anyone who gets between her and Sarah.

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