Almost a decade ago, the brutal French home invasion film Inside blew away horror fans (hard to believe the directors went on to make the lame Texas Chainsaw prequel Leatherface).
An American remake was released for reasons unknown, especially considering that even for those who don’t want to read subtitles, the English dubbed version of the original uses excellent voice actors, so the intensity isn’t lost in translation.
Not surprisingly, there have been some changes in the remake, leading me to watch the original again do some comparing and contrasting for a blog! Note that there aren’t any major spoilers here as long as you know the basic plot—a psycho bitch breaks into a pregnant woman’s home at Christmas time and attempts to get her baby out of her—but I do chronologically touch upon a few specific differences in each film.
Let’s start at the beginning. Both films open with a car crash.
The remake crash (aside from, um…flipping things a bit) is more involved leading up to the impact and does allow us to have more mixed feelings about each of the two women by the final scene.
In the remake, the pregnant woman’s friend is distinctly rewritten as a gay guy with a partner…so it’s no surprise he gets it in the rear.
In the original, the pregnant woman is a photographer, and it plays a role in her actions. All of that is scraped in the remake.
The pregnant woman has a cat in the original, a dog in the remake. The fate of the dog is implied off screen in the remake, in the original, the cat’s fate is horribly depicted on screen.
The original gives us a stronger sense of the baby “inside” her belly by literally showing it reacting to what’s happening to its mother periodically throughout the film. Cool concept that plays into the title, but the computer-generated baby is jarring every time it suddenly appears on screen.
It kind of reminds me of the creepy dancing baby from Ally McBeal, which doesn’t exactly make me hope for its safe birth. The pregnant woman in the original also has a bizarre dream that makes the baby seem like something parasitic out of Alien. Doesn’t happen in the remake.
The arrival of the psycho bitch outside the door is virtually identical right down to the dialogue. However, in the original, her initial terrorizing of the pregnant woman is way creepier, including an amazing moment at French doors (unfair advantage because it’s a French film?).
Overall, the actress playing the psycho bitch in the original just looks and acts so much more terrifying than in the remake, where she’s kind of prim and proper.
On a related note, the murders of the various people who show up at the house are way more brutal and heinous in the original. The remake wimps out, softening everything about the evil of the psycho bitch.
When the pregnant woman has a confrontation with her mother, the actress playing the pregnant woman in the remake has a much stronger, believable reaction to it. The actress’s response in the original is a little melodramatic.
When the cops arrive, it’s much more weird and complicated in the original, especially with one cop bringing a perp in the backseat of the squad car inside with him…on a leash. There’s also the infamous scene I still don’t understand in which one of the psycho bitch’s victims seems to come back as a zombie and attacks the pregnant woman!?!?!?!
There’s a whole scene in the original in which the psycho bitch ties the pregnant woman to a bed and gets bizarrely lesbian with her.
The vicious final battle between the two women is completely different.
The original takes place entirely in the house with the psycho bitch eventually looking like a…zombie (!!!).
The remake goes wild with a car ride, a visit to the psycho bitch’s lair and an underwater fight in a pool.
The women come to a weird kind of understanding in the remake leading to a much more positive conclusion and birth. The original remains queen of the horrific, downer ending, but at least each film does give you a somewhat different experience before all is said and done.