Inside was part of a spate of French films that all came out around the same period including High Tension (2003), Sheitan (2006), Them (2006), Frontier(s) (2007) and Martyrs (2008) that was nicknamed French Extremism. This was also around the same time as the term Torture Porn had just been coined by English-language writers. Inside quickly gained great word of mouth for its extreme content. Even in the US, there ended up being a version released for dvd that was shorn of some seven minutes of running time.
Inside falls into the genre of pregnancy horrors. Unlike Rosemarys Baby (1968) et al, which are about women fearing that the embryo inside them is something diabolically fathered, this far more viscerally has the pregnant woman fleeing from a mystery woman (listed only as La Femme on the credits) who wants to tear the baby out of her womb. Inside is trimmed of almost all but a few introductory scenes that set up what happened to Alysson Paradis (the younger sister of Vanessa Paradis) and who the supporting characters that turn up throughout are. After this, Bustillo and Maury get down to the business of brutalising our sensibilities.
This is a film that has no reservations about piling the screen knee-deep in gore. Bustillo and Maurys tone is grim and nasty in a full Torture Porn vein. The bulk of the film, from about the point where Alysson Paradis is woken in the middle of the night by Beatrice Dalle with a pair of scissors, has been construed as a series of tight, corkscrew twists as Alysson barricades herself in the bathroom, tries to escape and get help as various people come to her door. These scenes have a brutal savagery. Towering over the film is the fierce presence of Beatrice Dalle, outfitted simply in a long black dress, who has never seemed more alluring and deadly in any of her performances as she is here. The film reaches an almost impossible to watch climax with [PLOT SPOILERS] one of the surviving cops accidentally belting Alysson Paradis in the belly, causing her to go into labour, only for the baby to become stuck halfway out and Beatrice Dalle pinning Alysson to the stairs and trying to cut it out of her with a pair of scissors.
Inside (2016) was a Spanish-made English-language remake starring Rachel Nichols in the Alysson Paradis role and with Laura Harring as The Woman.