I was taken back by this movie. I mean, the third set of releases for the 8 Films To Die For has been a lot better in quality overall, but most of them tend to not live up to their conceptual uniqueness. But for the first time in this series (perhaps behind "The Broken" for me) this film actually was able to adhere to its concept very well.
There are still some aspects of the film that didn't quite hit the nail on the head, but overall this was a definite win in my book as a Horror film. It's not perfect but it tries damn hard and I respect that.
"From Within" is about a small Jesus loving town that suddenly comes under a rash series of suicides that are blamed on the local outcast family (because they believe in some sort of Paganism instead of Jesus) and hell starts to unravel.
Of course the supernatural element of the film that makes it a pretty solid creepy film is the 'curse' that makes the people commit suicide - the death scenes are actually quite impressive. The person sees their doppelganger (with white eyes and odd veins in their face) and their evil cursed twin is the one that makes them kill themselves despite their own will. Very cool concept and it was pulled off masterfully in my opinion. Very horrific scenes and great special effects made it work damn well.
But even with this well pulled off supernatural side of things, perhaps the best (and most horrific side) of "From Within" is how the film pulled off the Jesus loving town folk whom decide to take matters in their own hands in the name of God. It's your pretty average tale of religion gone hardcore, but great acting from the supporting cast and some great writing in dialogue just makes it work so much better. The scene with the main character's (ex-) boyfriend and his father the pastor of the church is pretty damn riveting as the pastor tells him that God wouldn't condone the uprising and his son essentially calls him weak in faith. Yeah! Good character trait flaws make a great story! Loved it!
Of course, as I said, this isn't a perfect film. Some of the acting tends to be a bit bland. The supporting cast does some great work, like the religious zealot of an ex-boyfriend or even the cousin Sadie whom appears randomly at the end of the film. It's the main ones that tended to be a bit wishy washy. Elizabeth Rice as the main character Lindsay is okay at best and gets better through out the film, but she seems a bit unaffected by all her friends dying. Ehhh, give me something a bit more. And Thomas Dekker (now somewhat famous for the failed "Terminator" TV show) gives us an over tired and too vague son of the hated family. He tries very hard to be 'subtle and apathetic' which just comes off as shitty acting. It's like he saw "Donnie Darko" and thought 'Geez I can do that too!' and failed at it. But they got the job done in the end.
I was just overly impressed with "From Within" maybe a bit too impressed at the end of the day, but I liked that movie. Its one of the best for this series so far, and if the next few I have yet to watch match this one then I'll be a happy camper.
Written By Matt Reifschneider