The Inside review

The Inside is a Dublin-set horror film. The movie opens with a man trying to pawn a ring for cash, offered only €50 he tries to haggle and eventually gets €75 and a used video camera. It seems that there is a recording in the camera, and he sits in a cafe and watches the film.

In the footage, a group of girls are heading out for a friend's birthday. They blindfold the girl and instead of going to a club they break into a warehouse on a secluded back street. Once in the dirty, rat infested space, bad things happen. First the birthday girl’s boyfriend shows up and has sex with one of her friends (this, like the pawned ring and the blindfold, is just one plot strand introduced for no good reason whatsoever as it has no impact upon the film around it). Then three thugs break in and terrorise the girls (or is it four, it’s really hard to remember someone is holding the camera). Then things get really dark and spooky.

This is a found footage film of spectacular ineptness. The camera never stays still – I swear, better results could have been achieved had the camera operator being using exercise equipment while shooting. Despite being a supposedly unedited recording, the film still cuts and the camera develops suspiciously artistic faults only at key points where it enhances the story. Brilliantly, this amateur footage being watched straight off a handycam comes with an ominous electronic score. The screenplay is nails on a blackboard excruciating. The girls alone are shrill, and annoyingly crass, but when the thugs turn up it goes like this ...

I’m only messin, I’m noat gwoanna hurt ye
No I’m messin wit ye
No, I’m noat, am only messin

This goes on, for a long, long time. Eventually, you will be screaming: “For the love of god, just kill the bitch and stop bloody shouting.” It gets worse, culminating on a character yelling: “Royeat, who wants to get raped?” There follows a protracted and ugly sexual assault that would be horrifying if it weren’t so badly realised.

The film then changes tack and moves into Blair Witch/Paranormal Activity territory as the victims and the rapists discover that the warehouse has been used for supernatural rites an a malign entity stalks its endless corridors. From this point on there is at least 20 minutes of running around screaming while pointing the camera at the ceiling or floor. There is a bit when, to make sure no one sensibly ditches the camera, it gets really dark and they have to use the built-in light. Inevitably no one turns on the infra red mode until the "really scary bit" at the end.

Except it’s not the end, there is still a thuddingly stupid coda to close the wraparound story. This bit isn’t found footage, but proves the filmmakers are no more competent making a non-found footage film. The ultimate ending is so profoundly idiotic it should have you adopting the brace position if you have somehow avoided slipping into a coma.

Yeah, I didn’t like it.

The Inside at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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