Fantasia Reviews

[Fantasia] ‘It Lives Inside’ Review: An Epic Indian Horror Tale

Director Bishal Dutta presents It Lives Inside, his first feature film. After a successful festival run with his different short films, he draws inspiration from his folklore to create a powerful horror movie that mixes immigrant reality and Indian mythology.

Samidha (Megan Suri) is a young Indian-American teenager trying to fit in high school while she is pressured by her mother Poorna (Neeru Bajwa) to stick to their traditions. One day, her friend Tamira (Mohana Krishnan) who is acting weird lately, asks her for help. She is terrified by a monster she is holding prisoner in a mason jar. When it breaks, Sam learns that the stories of demons they heard as kids are true as an actual one torments the people she loves.

Bishal Dutta has been a horror fan since childhood and you can feel the love he has for the genre. The story is rather classic, but it is well written and the approach to Indian culture brings a breath of fresh air. There are a few clichés borrowed from The Ring and The Grudge but that doesn’t prevent the film from being particularly effective. The characters are endearing and the actors are believable, especially the young ones who have been carefully chosen. When someone is being attacked by the demon, we can actually be afraid because we care about them.

The demon called Pishacha is one of the most successful elements of the film. The Jaws strategy has been used in order to show the creature gradually. And when we see it, we are impressed. It is all practical effects and it’s a hell of a monster. One can recognize the influence of Pumpkinhead on this one. Some CGI effects are used in the movie, but they are few and complement the practical effects as they should. It Lives Inside is a funny and scary movie that people should certainly watch and we will keep an eye on the future career of the director.

It Lives Inside will hit theaters on September 22.


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