From director John-Paul Panelli, the upcoming thriller They're Inside is a unique addition to the found footage subgenre. As longtime horror fans will know, the found footage format was first popularized by The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Telling the story of the fate of three missing filmmakers, the movie's plot unfolded completely through the use of "discovered" footage found during a search for the victims. In 2007, the low-budget found footage movie Paranormal Activity carved its own mark as a found footage movie by making it a ghost story. Similarly, They're Inside makes found footage interesting again by adding a slasher movie twist, and it's not like any movie from the genre I've seen before.
They're Inside can probably best be described as The Blair Witch Project meets The Strangers. It follows two filmmaking sisters, Robin (Karli Hall) and Cody (Amanda Kathleen Ward), along with their friends on a retreat to an isolated cabin to film a passion project. As family secrets begin to unravel between the siblings, the filmmakers soon learn they are being watched by a masked couple with murderous intentions. Shown only through the point of view of the filmmakers' footage and video taken from surveillance cameras hidden throughout the house, the sisters and their friends must do all they can to survive the horrifying night.
Mixing slasher fanfare with found footage does bring about some cliche horror tropes. This includes some of the characters making incredibly foolish decisions, and it often seems the masked strangers' master plan is only working based on this dumb luck. Still, while the killers are not physically imposing and rely heavily on luck, they're certainly very creepy, as they provide many unsettling moments shown throughout the movie. You won't doubt for a second that the homicidal couple are both certifiably insane, absolutely twisted and beyond disturbing on a psychological level.
That brings us to the movie's conclusion, as They're Inside somehow only gets crazier as it approaches the end credits. We obviously won't get into specifics here, but the way the movie closes is bound to stick with you for some time to come. On the surface, the movie appears to be a fun found footage horror flick that makes for a good popcorn movie. However, as I did, you may find the story to ultimately be much more disconcerting than you may have anticipated. The found footage and slasher movie elements are handled well, but it's the psychological aspects which contribute most to the eerie atmosphere of the film.
Circling back to where we began, They're Inside definitely succeeds in presenting a different take on found footage movies, thereby making it just as entertaining in its own right. Its story will keep you guessing as to what will happen until the final moments, and the disturbing ending will haunt you long after you've finished watching.. You can watch They're Inside when it releases on Blu-ray and VOD on July 16, and you can also check out the official trailer below, courtesy of Epic Pictures and Dread Central Presents.