DIRECTOR Eoin Macken WRITER Eoin Macken STARS Karl Argue; Kellie Blaise; Siobhán Cullen CINEMA 26 August
On paper, The Inside is not bad. A group of six young people lock themselves in an abandoned warehouse to party, finding themselves brutally attacked by a trio of men, only for the film to change tack to a more supernatural antagonism, that is not explained. The execution of this Irish offering to found-footage does however leave something to be desired.
Told almost entirely via first-person perspective, the found-footage element here is literal, a man discovering the story after picking up a camera in a pawn shop. This in itself is fairly refreshing, at least providing a solid reason for the concept at all, something which is often glossed over in this subgenre, and there are some effective moments. A forced perspective on rape with the knowledge that, out of shot, more of the same is going on, is hard to stomach, whilst the mutant is never on camera for too long. Stylistically, a muted palate underlines the otherworldliness of the warehouse, whilst the distortion of the camera when said mutant is in the vicinity is a nice touch.
What ultimately lets The Inside down is that first-person camera; it’s simply all over the place. Certainly this underlines the realism strived for, but a little control and thought for balance would have paid dividends. Instead, it approaches unwatchable, which hampers immersion in a story that requires it for the tension to be truly effective. When the film reverts to our camera finder, not only is it a relief to be back in third-person, but a missed perspective is highlighted; the hopelessness of the girls’ predicament would be much easier to empathise with had the claustrophobia of their surrounds been better observed.