Inside: You’re Better Off Staying Outside

Willem Dafoe stars as Nemo in director Vasilis Katsoupis' INSIDE, a Focus Features release (Wolfgang Ennenbach/Focus Features).

Inside is about an art heist gone wrong but audiences are better off just saying outside rather than watch very horrifying images on screen.

Things you should know about Inside before reading any further:

  • A pigeon is left for dead just outside an unbreakable window.
  • After depleting the food in the kitchen, Nemo (Willem Dafoe) has no choice but to eat dog food, which is cringe-worthy enough as it is.
  • He takes a fish out of its tank, slices it open, and eats it.
  • With no working water (aside from a sprinkler) because of the system malfunction, Nemo has no choice but to start defecating in the living room. The camera, unfortunately, pans to a large pile of shit as Dr. Ian Malcolm once said about a sick triceratops. Is the audience not suffering enough?

Art thief Nemo (Willem Dafoe) breaks into the penthouse apartment to steal a few pieces of art but next thing he knows, everything goes haywire. A malfunctioning security system locks him in, forcing Nemo to fend for himself and get creative. This is nothing but a pandemic movie without telling us that it is a pandemic movie. Nemo must figure out how to leave the penthouse as days, weeks, and months go by. One might think that the police or security guards would check in on the apartment after the malfunction. Nobody ever comes so Nemo is out of luck. I mean, really?!? Not even using a fire to trigger the water sprinklers is enough to trigger a check-in. Where in the hell is the owner in all of this?!?

Where the penthouse quickly becomes a prison for Nemo, the film itself becomes a prison for audiences. I guess the biggest difference is that we can walk out at any given moment. It’s like experiencing the early pandemic lockdown all over again. I do not know about you but this is not how anybody should experience any lockdown. Never mind the cringe-worthy things happen on screen because this film is just another pandemic movie in disguise. They might say that it is a pandemic movie but it is not good when one guy has to break body parts to carry the film. Most surprisingly, the Manhattan-set movie is over a decade in the making. Remind me never to stay in a building with such sophisticated technology. Anything that can do wrong will always go wrong!

The best part of Inside is when audiences can finally go outside.

DIRECTOR: Vasilis Katsoupis
CAST: Willem Dafoe

Focus Features will release Inside in theaters on March 17, 2023. Grade: 1/5

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.