– By @TheBlueTook
‘Two women, each with a strange scar that they can’t remember getting, fall ill after suffering violent dreams involving an ominous tunnel.’
Above is IMDB’s summary for Mike Streeter’s latest horror short. A summary indeed, as there’s a lot more going on in these 19 minutes than first meets the eye.
Lately, we’ve had an influx of darker films taking on ballsy ambiguity and lingering, intrusive camera work, which seemed to go by the wayside for a while during the torture porn/found-footage boom. With the likes of the retro It Follows, sultry A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and the beautiful Spring, we’ve thankfully witnessed a renaissance in thoughtful, ‘handsome horror’ (yeah, I’m copyrighting that bitch!) – a fact I’m personally delighted about. It’s always been there, just not on everyone’s radar.
Of course, Streeter’s micro-budget INSIDES doesn’t hit those heights, but that’s not to say those ballsy signs aren’t visible. Yes, we have gore – fuck, there’s even severed limbs! – but this is finely balanced with a story that doesn’t just join the dots for you, and nice touches that suggest there’s a bigger story just below its slick surface.
The director’s skill at turning a character’s nervous tap into a thing of dread and giving us dreamlike mood before twatting us with a “meat hammer” is a joy.
True, it may suffer from ‘odd-coloured-blood syndrome’ in places (the special effects ARE good though, all things considered), slight dialogue stumbles here and there, and a sound-effect misstep, but that’s easily ignored when you can happily fall into cinematographer Tim Guzman’s lasting shots of our confused, attractive leading duo, Karen Wilmer and Morgan Poferl – who do a pretty decent job with Streeter’s script – and an effective, classy soundtrack, thanks to Danny Campos and Nik O’Hara.
Give INSIDES a go. “It takes you away. It takes the YOU away.”