Inside Review- A Film that Has a Story that Defies Odds

There have been a lot of movies that have odd or weird premises. Some of them are horror films, others are not. Inside isn’t one of those but it’s also not exactly a straightforward film either. It’s a movie that will test the viewer’s patience but in the end, it will be worthwhile for those that gave it the chance it deserves. It is a battle of fruition but it’s worth the wait.

Nemo (Willem Dafoe) is a high-end art thief who is robbing a state-of-the-art hi-tech penthouse apartment at the top of a building. He’s robbing the apartment of priceless paintings but when he’s about to leave the security system goes off and locks him into the penthouse. He tries everything he can to try to get out, including trying to disable the security system. This apartment is locked tighter than fort knox. He ends up just trying to survive at this point. 

Inside has a vibe of other survival films like Castaway. The loneliness sets in and depression takes over for this man who ends up in this crazy situation. His instinct takes over and he starts to come up with ideas to escape. With little results. As in any survival situation, two things come into effect. How does this person eat and or drink to keep from starving to death? This movie gets very creative in these situations. A couple of examples are using water from a plant watering system and eating dog food. That’s the tip of the iceberg regarding these aspects.

Fans of Willem Dafoe will most likely point out some of his most memorable roles. And those with a keen eye will spot a few of his past roles. Namely, a fish in a fish tank that looks oddly familiar to his character in Finding Nemo, Gill, a Moorish Idol fish. And while trying to escape through a glass ceiling he ties a bandanna around his head resembling his character in Platoon, Sergeant Elias. There may have been others I just couldn’t notice.

This film is more than just a trip down memory lane for Dafoe. It’s a movie that deals with retrospectives making wrong decisions and having to come face-to-face with those decisions. When we are in our darkest hour is when we have to reflect on our mistakes. This character has that moment of self-reflection in this film. I’d a moment that turned the movie around. I can see why Dafoe took this role. 

Some interesting aspects that helped the movie seem interesting and keep my attention throughout were that the main character watched the security cameras of the lobby and other areas of the building. He watched the concierge and a cleaning lady named Jasmine who he looked forward to seeing. She was one of the things that helped him to keep going.

I tend to spend a lot of time on my own and it can get a bit claustrophobic at times being by myself for hours on end. It’s just a matter of keeping busy and being productive in life. In the context of the film that is what the Dafoe character does. He finds ways to pass the time and be productive despite the psychological toll of being stuck in this apartment takes on him mentally and physically. This film is an exercise in futility. The director Vasilis Katsoupis creates an atmosphere of constant survival which is a crazy thing considering the location in which the story takes place. This is a film that should make you think and make you reevaluate your own decisions. It’s that kind of character study.

3 ½ stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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