I’m a sucker for a good centuries old massacre turns into a curse film. Did I get that out of Jeff Hall’s It Lives Inside? I’ll return to that question later, after diving into my thoughts about the movie that’s hitting VOD outlets on August 7th and DVD retailers on September 4th courtesy of High Octane Pictures. Shot under Death Spiral Productions, It Lives Inside follows a young couple and their baby as they move into a new house in a small, woodsy town. The baby’s father is a chronic sleepwalker, and this misfortune leads him to discover a mysterious book among other odd items. After reading from the book, a demonic spirit threatens his family every time he sleeps. Days turn into nightmares as the young man struggles to keep his family together while combating the spirit that now lurks inside him. A Jeff Hall film, produced by Sean Bingham, It Lives Inside stars Rett Terrell, Alissa Rose-Ford, Liam Rose, Laurie Cummings, Christian R. Black and Bill Brewer. Haunting, possession, and apparition, It Lives Inside gives you all of the ghostly world at once.
It Lives Inside is one of those horror films that mixes different dramatic scenarios with scenes that are supposed to scare you. In that token, it was never written or produced to be an “in your face” horror film. It was made to be something more slow-burning, with the action reserved for the intense and gory climax. Jeff Hall created a piece of cinema that forces you to sit back, watch and enjoy, instead of making you anxiously await the next shock-and-awe moment. The family moving to a quiet town, the deterioration of the couple, the mother’s involvement, and the added suspense of wondering if anything bad was going to happen to the baby made for a more subdued experience with theatrics around every corner. Even the addition of the sleepwalking was a nice bonus, and a new way of letting possession into a story that I don’t think I’ve seen before. In certain scenes, you didn’t know if the entity was at work, or if the man was off his rocker. I think It Lives Inside accomplished what it set out to do – represent all sides of horror and demonic interference, while also showcasing real life sadness and mental breakdowns. And it’s all accentuated with gallons of blood and somewhat questionable CGI.
Although the haunting and possession never gets to Poltergeist scale, the evil is calculated and malicious. It almost felt Amityville Horror in nature. And more importantly, it’s pulled off in a way that isn’t hokey, so the creature can maintain its sinister allure. Normally I’d criticize horror films for not bringing enough terror to the screen, but I actually liked It Lives Inside enough to excuse this. I enjoyed the lighting, the rock and roll scores, and the atmosphere that made me feel dirty and sweaty. I enjoyed the standpoint performance from Rett Terrell. I enjoyed the effort put into It Lives Inside and the attempt at doing something new. I don’t know how this title will fair on VOD and DVD when it’s released by High Octane Pictures in the coming weeks, but I do know it’s worth the price of a VOD stream; especially if you’re a fan of more mellow horror films. This would be a good date night movie, especially if you’re looking for an above-average story, great acting, decent production value (that audio needed a little work), and something that won’t completely ruin the mood.
Final Score: 7 out of 10