'The Inside' is a terrifying journey into Dublin's disturbing underbelly. A man enters a pawnshop and discovers a video camera with a tape still inside. As he watches the footage, he sees a series of horrific events for a group of friends who have broken into a derelict warehouse to have a party. Their fun is interrupted by a group of deranged vagrants, intent on terrorising and torturing the group. Their night of horror is only just beginning, as the violence awakens an even more sinister force from the depths of the site. Victim or violator, it makes no difference, as the fear and claustrophobia escalate and all are prey to this terrifying new evil. There is no escape from the horror that's waiting in 'The Inside'.
In some ways this could be the most realistic found-footage film of all that I have seen – in that it’s often impossible to work out what’s going on. Equally, the depictions of the group of teenagers getting drunk and swapping embarrassing stories is immediately tiresome.
As the story goes, a man (Eoin Macken, who also writes, produces and directs) gains possession of a second hand camcorder, and on it he finds footage that appears to depict the final hours spent by a group of currently missing Irish girls. Spending an evening in an abandoned warehouse isn’t everyone’s idea of a good way to celebrate a birthday, and tempers are frayed from the outset. These are flawed people. When they are attacked by vagrants, however, it comes as a relief the camerawork is shaky and obfuscates the resulting raw abuse.
When it is revealed there is a bigger, supernatural threat at large, the pace of the film slows. We are treated to quite slow scenes involving the characters reacting to barely glimpsed creatures not dissimilar to those in ‘The Descent’, and some unexplained sounds of a baby crying.
The found footage formula ends when ‘The Man’ has reached the finale and we return to more coherent, slick direction of regular film-making for what I feel is the least convincing part of the story. Having seen a group apparently slaughtered by demonic forces in a location that is familiar, would you then take it upon yourself to investigate that very area, unarmed and alone? Because I wouldn’t. Yet that is exactly what the man does. Would he not hand over the webcam to the police?
I justify his actions in this way: we saw him pawn his ring for cash. Perhaps he has a drug habit and is reticent to contact the law? I wouldn’t suggest for a moment that people who pawn their goods are addicts, but it’s the only reason I can imagine he doesn’t contact professionals to deal with this. Much as this lapse of logic happens in horror films, I found it difficult to get past here, which mars an otherwise very effective feature.