Wednesday, July 1, 2009

À L'intérieur

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my favorite genre and I think it’s high time that I did. Horror, for me, is the best thing in my life and it’s not because it’s something that I want happening to other people or myself for that matter. I just enjoy the creativity of it and how the special effects work to make the scenes look authentic and genuine.

Now, a while back I wrote out a list of twenty horror movies that I feel are the best I’ve seen. But, of course, there’s a lot more horror movies out there that I enjoy just as much as the list I made. If I really put my mind to it, I probably could’ve made a top 100 list, but that would’ve been a long read.

Anyway, one of the podcasts I listen to and enjoy is Horror Etc. and not too long ago they discussed at length how much they enjoyed the movie, À L'intérieur, which translated in French means, Inside.

À L'intérieur is a foreign film directed by Alexandre Bustillo, complete with subtitles, but please do not let that scare you off if you’re the type who doesn’t like to read while watching a film. I, myself, usually don’t like subtitled movies, but this one really held my attention throughout.

The film opens with the aftermath of a car accident and we see two people inside, a man and a woman. The woman, played by Alysson Paradis, is coming out of the haze and we gather that she’s going to be all right. But the man doesn’t move—apparently dead.

We then see the young woman at a hospital some time after the accident as she’s pregnant and probably just having a routine appointment. She appears to be at full term and very sad, visibly upset about the loss of her husband. But before you can really feel completely compassionate for her, the young lady basically tells a nurse to buzz off in a very offending way when all the nurse was trying to do was to have a conversation with her.

The main story starts when the young lady stays the night in her house by herself and what starts as some simple stalking turns into something very bad until it concludes with the most horrible scene I’ve ever witnessed in a horror movie.

Yes, this film has a lot of gore and guts and mutilation and blood and stabbing and shooting and everything you can think of to kill someone disgustingly and horribly. At times, I was very uncomfortable with the way people were getting killed and I haven’t felt that way in a long time when watching a horror movie. It just goes to show you that while these foreign horror movies have been going to the next level with their shock value, American movies have just been running in place, making remakes and clichéd stories with clean and tired visuals.

Even though the main character sort of acted like a spoiled brat at the beginning and seemed like she didn’t care whether she had this baby or not, by the time the movie gets moving you really feel bad for her and pull for her against her terrorizer.

About this villain…when we first see the antagonist’s shadowed form at the windows or doors, it makes us want to get up and make sure all the doors and windows are locked and fastened (at least that’s what it made me want to do). When this character is finally revealed, it’s someone who looks mysterious and foreboding…someone you really want to steer clear of if you saw them walking at night towards you.

Anyway, after viewing this work, I immediately thought of people who shouldn’t see this movie.

In two words: pregnant women.

For someone who’s pregnant, you do NOT want to see this film. Actually, anybody who’s pregnant, has a pregnant wife, or has a new born baby should stay away from this.

Most of the film has practical effects, meaning the effects were mainly done without computer graphic imagery. All the effects were done with make-up or prosthetics and it worked excellently in this flick. The only CGI used in À L'intérieur was when they showed what the baby was doing inside the woman as she was becoming stressed or frightened, and in some instances as she was being attacked. It was clever and added a lot to the film.

I recommend À L'intérieur to anybody who wants to watch a suspenseful and violent story unfold. As I’ve said, this film is not for the faint of heart or someone with kids or expecting.

And, of course, I wouldn’t watch this while eating a meal.

My final “bit” on À L'intérieur? A flowing story that hooks you in for a very terrifying ride that’ll leave you shocked and alarmed. Being the biggest opposer of subtitled movies, I found myself not minding the words at the bottom. At certain lengths of the film, there’s no dialogue so it really isn’t an issue. The French really know what they’re doing with the horror genre and it makes me want to go out and buy a French to English dictionary.

Yeah, I know…bad joke.