A little while back I wrote a blog detailing my personal thoughts and reflections on "The Inside", a horror film written, directed, produced, and even briefly starred in by Eoin Macken. My goal in any review I write is to share why and how I enjoyed a particular piece of creative work - be it film, book, or music. I tend not to summarize it, as such info can be readily found in multiple sources on the net. My true purpose in such posts is to spark an interest, whet an appetite, stir a curiosity, for folks to view/read/listen and experience it for themselves.
My blog seemed to be adequate fare, as Eoin was generous and took the time to read it, BUT.....
Now that The Inside will be released on DVD here in the States on October 21, 2014, I wanted to add more resources for info, content, and purchase.
The Inside on iMDB - for more info on cast and crew of this horror film click HERE.
For the review that the film's creator himself said was THE review to read and that the columnist 'Got It'.... read HERE in Space Jockey Reviews
Movie Trailer for The Inside... watch HERE
To purchase The Inside on DVD here in the States.... click HERE and order NOW.
Below is my original post with my humble thoughts, observations, and reactions. Bottom line...horror fan or not, this is a unique piece of cinematic tour de force that everyone should courageously experience.
Several months back I had the opportunity to view “The Inside” - a horror film written, directed, produced, filmed, and acted in by Eoin Macken. While horror is not my usual ‘go to’ film genre, I was eager to see what this cinematic genius had created, and was thrilled for the chance to view the film not (at that point) accessible in the States… Let’s just say ‘yay for universal players’.
Anyone can view and summarize a film, so for the sake of a peek at the plot I will quote Blink Box from 7/8/14, when the film was released in the UK.
“The Inside is a hard, violent, visceral psychological horror, which gets into your belly, and leaves an unnerving disturbed feeling after watching it. Directed by actor Eoin Macken (who starred as Sir Gwaine in the BBC s TV series Merlin), the film also stars Tereza Srbova ( Sirens, Eastern Promises) and Emmett J. Scanlan (fan favorite Brendan Brady in Hollyoaks), and Brian Fortune (Game of Thrones).
While in a pawnshop a young man comes into possession of a second hand video camera; discovering a tape still inside he plays back the footage and witnesses a horrific series of events involving a group of teens in an undisclosed location. Using the footage as a guide he retraces the steps to where the events seemingly occurred. Deciding to investigate he discovers to his horror not only the truth of the events on the tape but comes face to face with a supernatural terror from which he may not escape.... "Impressively disturbing" (Screen International).”
I have now watched this movie three times. For someone not ‘into horror’, and for how TRULY scary this film is, my multiple viewings have shocked and confused some folks. “Am I that immune to getting scared?” “Am I that analytically removed from what I watch?” and on and on the questions go. No I am not at all immune to the emotions ignited in film. Quite the contrary. That is precisely why I watch, and write, and film. Beyond my own drive to ‘tell a story’, I am passionate about what film, music, literature, and art stirs in us – on the emotional level, taking us places we may never otherwise visit and perhaps even preparing us, broadening our emotional scope, as well as on the intellectual level, making us think, and probe, and discover – about ourselves, humanity, life, and beyond. I tend to watch a film, see it, feel it… and am then often drawn back to watch again to analyze all the details that left me thinking and questioning after my first viewing. When I then blog about a piece, I run through it again to double check details and impressions.
Questions Questions Questions… in the movie that is…
Even as “The Inside” begins there are numerous questions about the nature of people and what drives us as human beings. The female DJ we hear in a narrative form, already preparing us to listen closely to what and who we cannot see, seems worried about the missing local girls and for the safety of others out and about, and yet seems fascinated with terror as she tries to make a bit light of it and also relates a story, unsure if it is urban legend or true tale. That double edged adrenaline surge of fear – the curiosity and fascination, opposed by the terror of the unknown and potentially harmful.
The young man in the pawn shop – what are his reasons to sell what appears to be a wedding band? Was it his? If so is he that desperate for cash or just that 'over' the breakup? He clearly wants his money’s worth for the piece and seems edgy and jittery. Is he hungry? For while he doesn’t look homeless per se, if he lost the apartment and everything besides his scarf and jacket in the split, cash for even food may be low. Or does he desperately seek cash to purchase ‘something to take the edge off’? With all the unseen variables in any scene we encounter in life, you’d think people would know better than to make assumptions, and yet we do. Perhaps that comes from our own fear of the unknown – we like to think we know what is going on…. But I digress… kind of…
For me ‘The Inside’ is all about choice – or rather it elucidates the power in our choices. Choice of words, choice of actions, choice of perception all create our reality and experience… which in turn is subject to and colors our choice of perception.
To pawn the ring. To accept the camera as partial payment. To watch the footage. To follow the path of what unfolds on that found film. To go into the abandoned warehouse to party as opposed to a club. To fight or to submit. To freeze in catatonic terror or to let every fiber of your being scream in terror and horror. The Inside held these choices and so many more.
One thing is for certain the writer/producer/director/cinematographer makes it clear that nothing in life ever need be cliché or redundant – not even a horror film.
This film is no ordinary scream-fest. It catapults past every extreme even remotely imaginable and is fully nerve demolishingly terrifying. While it is a violent film, we never actually see the violence taking place, and yet we experience it perhaps even more strongly for not being ‘distracted’ by viewing the mechanics of a beating or a rape. Nothing feels as if it was done for shock value in this film, every shocking twist and turn and scream, integral to the experience of the plot for both the characters and the viewers.
How evil, vile, violent, and destructive can a person be? Is it a determined amount? Is it limited or is it as vast and vile as the imagination can create even in shadow form? Perhaps most specifically in the impulse stage that steers into action, bypassing articulation in thought or word which would dilute it by defining and describing it? Dare I say similar to the visceral impact created by how this movie was filmed. The path of filming, flowing with what was going on here and there, while of course hearing everything else occurring simultaneously in the room around our focal point of the moment, kept the stream of chaos alive and terrifying, as opposed to if we would see first one girl’s experience, and then the next’s terror and so on. It is a fluid motion, not a box to box viewing experience – in essence the flow of firsthand experience versus the perspective of an observer. We hear it, feel it, experience it all at once, making us realize that as each person went through their assault (of varying kinds), they too were hearing their friends in agony, compounding their own. Worry for them and the realization everyone was (still) under siege and there was no help coming for them. Layers of experience for characters and audience alike. Brilliant presentation by the filmmaker.
As Eoin explains in his interview at FrightFest, unlike most horror films where we either get terrified by a person as a psycho slasher type, or by a supernatural being that comes and overtakes the people involved, this film has both. Too much? No not at all. Does one detract from the other’s horror, lessening its impact any? No. To the contrary they work so hand in hand you have to wonder if they are not part and parcel of the very same.
Was the evil supernatural creature drawn to that space by all the negative energy there from the human violence and terror – like attracting like? Was it drawn there by a radar of it being a good feeding ground of new victims? Was he conjured by the symbols and sigils painted (in blood?) on the walls? Were they just coincidental – drawn by some others who had gone in those deserted pathways? Had they gone there to hang out and drew the occult imagery to be ‘edgy’ and ‘cool’ or did they seek such a space specifically to conjure such a creature? Was the creature real or was it a perception….for the violent homeless men to be the terrorists and yet also symbolic of their own inner fears and ability to be terrorized? Or for the girls…so terrorized that all they could conceive of was even more terrifying beings and experiences, which consumed them as they hit dead end after dead end?
Is the man drawn there, to follow the path of the girls as seen on the camera, by his desperation to escape whatever had him morose in the first place? By a need to know there was indeed pain and horror greater than what he was already experiencing?
The movie leaves us with questions – not just stimulating our psyche, emotions, and beliefs, but also in terms of what becomes of some of the characters. For those who survived, were they ever able to heal, to forget, to breathe and live without fear??
It’s all about choice… we take what we experience and either live in it, with it, or even worse, exacerbate it and become its victim, or we can choose to see it as a huge boulder thrown in front of us (psychologically even) that we can step on not just to conquer but to ascend in understanding….
Was this movie terrifying? Absolutely – on a visceral, psycho-emotional level for sure. What is perhaps more terrifying for some is how vast the array of choices are in life and their domino effect. When you realize that even one choice of your own opens you to a new set of choices and infinitely on and on, and the power that wields in your life...that no matter what or who else does what…you always get to chose within the circumstances even as to how to feel about it…that can be daunting to some… or freeing. Again a choice. Perhaps the ultimate choice in how we live our lives. Double edged sword indeed.
Not sure if any or all of this is what Eoin had in mind when creating this film, but as always the man’s work got me thinking…and thinking… and thinking….and for that I thank him. In awe… as always.
And no worries Folks... if you just like a GOOD horror movie – and are not a psychology and philosophy addict like myself… you will thoroughly enjoy the film as well.