Inside might have been a horror classic if it didn’t, at key intervals, diffuse some of its tension through easy-shortcut storytelling that calls undue attention to the director’s manipulative hand. Four months after she (but not her baby’s daddy) survived a car crash, Sarah (Alysson Paradis) prepares on Christmas Eve to deliver her child the following morning. Home alone, she’s stalked by a crazed woman (Trouble Every Day’s strikingly off-kilter Béatrice Dalle) who wants to perform an amateur-hour C-section with a giant pair of sterilized scissors and take Sarah’s baby for herself. What follows is a night of blood-splattered mayhem that filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury stage with grisly proficiency, employing long, silent takes punctuated by vicious hand-to-combat (and CG reaction shots of the fetus) in which each woman utilizes whatever environmental weapon they can get their hands on. The film is often eyes-averting nasty, delivering visceral thrills that are evocatively matched by more unreal images of Dalle’s psycho cloaked in darkness like a bedtime story specter. However, whereas their carefully attuned exploitation of space and sound imbues the story with constant dread – every composition, cut and musical cue has been expertly conceived with an eye toward augmenting anxiety – Bustillo and Maury wrongfully assume that a somewhat dreamlike mood excuses narrative corner-cutting. It doesn’t, and as a result, for all the expert horror artistry on display, Inside, in an effort to reach its terrifying climax, ultimately sabotages a few of its disturbing set pieces by imbuing its fiend with supernatural powers, whether it be her unexplained ability to successfully break into Sarah’s house, or her unnatural aptitude for both shrugging off any catastrophic injury and effortlessly dispatching all potential adversaries.