Arriving on DVD tomorrow is the remake of Inside from director Miguel Ángel Vivas and co-writers Jaume Balagueró and Manu Díez. Based on the original 2007 film by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, this iteration of Inside follows a bereaved expectant mother named Sarah (Rachel Nichols) who is being tormented by an unknown woman (Laura Harring) who will stop at nothing to get her hands on Sarah’s unborn child.
Daily Dead recently conducted a Q&A with Vivas about Inside, and he discussed what initially drew him into the project, his positive experiences working with his strong female leads, the film’s ambitious finale, and more.
What was it about this project in particular that you connected with as a storyteller and made you want to take it on as a directorial project?
Miguel Ángel Vivas: I've always been interested in the subject of “family.” In Kidnapped, I tried to delve into family relationships in the 21st century. In Extinction, I was lucky to be able to work on the idea of fatherhood. Inside gave me the opportunity to approach the subject of motherhood. From the beginning, I thought of the movie as a transformation from Sarah to a mother. Thus, the whole film emerges from a nightmarish sequence in which the woman in black materializes in front of her bed while she sleeps, as if the whole movie were about the fears that a new mother has to overcome.
Can you talk about collaborating with Rachel and Laura on Inside? Both are very strong actresses, but in very different ways.
Miguel Ángel Vivas: I can only say that it was fantastic to work with both of them. Rachel works hard, always searching from the truth and she knows how to listen and lets herself go. With her it is wonderful, because when you say “action!” you don’t know 100% what is going to happen, and that is great. Working with Laura was also incredible.
Being that most of this film takes place primarily in one locale, how challenging was it to handle the visual aspects of Inside and make sure that you’re able to keep things visually interesting for viewers? I thought you guys did a great job with your use of shadows, as well as blues and reds.
Miguel Ángel Vivas: My idea was that each set piece was going to be planned in a different style. The sequence in which the woman in black appears in the room, for example, was filmed as a silent movie, exaggerating the lights and shadows and even the way the character moves, as if it were an expressionist movie from another era. The sequence in which they knock on the door was from a mystery movie. The whole bathroom scene was like a horror thriller in itself. The “neighbor in the window” moment was meant to evoke De Palma movies, and the climax in the second house had an unstoppable monster, similar to the ones from the second or third movies in horror sagas. The idea was to try and play with different aspects of the genre in each set piece.
Your finale at the pool seemed incredibly daunting to try and pull off. Can you discuss how you approached such an ambitious moment in this film?
Miguel Ángel Vivas: We had a lot of problems with that scene, since the stuntmen were not very familiar with water scenes. In the end, they had more problems than the actors themselves, so we had to shoot it without them for the most part. The idea was to shoot the scene in very long shots, but after all the problems, and taking into account that we only had one day to do it, I chose to pick up a mat and shoot most of the shots with the actors under it pretending to be under a canvas and in very short takes. In the end, however, the idea of sacrifice looked quite good.
What was the biggest thing you took away from making Inside, whether it was something that affected you personally or professionally or even both?
Miguel Ángel Vivas: Each film is a journey, a moment of your life that will not be repeated.