The poster for Inner Demon may be off-putting: the trope of pretty blonde dishevelled girl with a hand forcing its way out of her mouth (dat rapey oral fixation of the genre). And never mind the fim’s relentless perving on lead Sarah Jeavon (Sam)’s spray-on, low-rise jeans, tight, white low-cut vest and gravity-defying cleavage that was probably sprayed with oil between takes; it’s easy to mistake this as a movie that was not written and directed by a woman.
Despite this, writer-director Ursula Dabrowsky’s film is largely an effective spin on the kidnap chiller…
It’s far from shy on gore, and headily ramps up the tension from the start, as our heroine is already slowly bleeding to death. There are some fantastically-framed shots (repeated shots of Sam’s terrified blue eye peering through a crack in a closet reminiscent of one of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre posters).
A shame then, as it completely switches gears and becomes a different film out of nowhere in its last 20 minutes. Without spoiling, I love the idea of it, as it’s something you’ve never seen before, but it needed to have some breadcrumbs – even tiny specks – beforehand. Veering off into a wildly different sub-genre smacks of ‘gotcha’ try-harding rather than a cohesive narrative.
The second of a planned trilogy, Dabrowsky’s unique style and storytelling have me more inclined to keep an eye out for anything she’s involved in.