Starring: Willem Dafoe
Director: Vasilis Katsoupis
Death, taxes, and Willem Dafoe playing mentally unstable characters. His performance is, as expected, wonderful; a one-man show deserving of all the praise I expect to come. Unfortunately, it's the journey of him becoming unhinged that can be a little underwhelming. We start off great with some extreme close-ups that really build a claustrophobic atmosphere, but things fail to escalate from there for a large portion of the picture. Instead, any tension takes a backseat as the focus is put on some heavy-handed metaphors that laugh in the face of subtlety. Overall, a great performance in a film that can’t maintain its early momentum.
As someone who can watch Willem Dafoe go insane for hours, Inside began to get on my nerves, but I still quite enjoyed it. I was almost immediately captivated by the film’s setup, as Dafoe’s character needs to survive with comically low resources. But then it started to get a little repetitive, and because its themes and messages are thinly veiled, it begins to be a rinse-and-repeat of the same stuff over and over again until the film reaches its unsatisfying conclusion. Even though I enjoyed the film going in more than I did going out, I did enjoy it.