film reel image

film reel image

Monday, May 8, 2023

Inside 2023 * * * 1/2 Stars


2023's Inside is a thriller whose hook takes the viewer as far as it will go. The film ends with a sort of neutered interpretation but the journey here is dense, confined, and well, maddening. It gives new meaning to the term "homebody".

Evoking stuff akin to All Is Lost and 2019's 4x4, Inside is one of those "trapped" movies where the main character is stuck in a certain place or circumstance and must try to survive the environment while figuring out a way to escape. 

With Inside, it's all about Nemo played intensely by one-man show Willem Dafoe. Nemo is an art thief who breaks into a wealthy art collector's high-rise (to steal) only to have the security system shut down and said high-rise to be sealed up. Nemo is trapped for what feels like forever and Dafoe channels this hallucinatory frustration like a boss. 

Food supply? A little spread, crackers, a pet fish, and dog chow. Water Supply? Vodka and a sprinkler system (ugh). Entertainment? Surveillance videos of people going in and out of the building and the styling-s of "Macarena" (double ugh). Basically you want Nemo to get the heck out of there even though he was initially up to no good. Poor guy can't even cater to his dental work, interact with humans, and/or take a shower.

So yeah, there's not a whole lot of persona backstory to Inside and Dafoe's methods of holding out can be a little monotonous. No matter cause maybe that's the overall point. Inside is psychologically stealth and real time perceived, with Willem's physical acting and unseasoned Vasilis Katsoupis's deft direction really pulling you through. Just when you think Nemo might have a chance to early on see the outside world, Vasilis just ups the ante. His visual imagery makes the lavish apartment a co-star, his method of using a scene as cutaway is downright creepy, and his foreboding music inserts seem perfectly placed. This is a solid "inside" job. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment