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It’s What’s Inside Review: Bonkers Horror Comedy

a still from the movie It's What's Inside (2024), from the Sundance Film Festival

Greg Jardin’s debut It’s What’s Inside, out soon on Netflix, is a bonkers horror comedy that is sure to be Gen Z’s latest film obsession.

Before I saw It’s What’s Inside, everyone at Sundance was warning me, “Do not go in knowing anything” and “prepare for the trippiest film you’ve seen in a while.” These comments not only made this film jump up to the top of my most anticipated list, but also allowed me to be prepared for anything. Even with these warnings, nothing could have prepared me for one of the most exciting feature directorial debuts I’ve ever seen.

It’s What’s Inside follows a group of friends who meet to have a little pre-wedding party at a mansion. What initially was a light-hearted get-together quickly turns into a life-ruining night for everyone when their estranged friend, Forbes (David Thompson), shows up with a mysterious game. Single location horror movies, particularly game night gone wrong ones, are not an original concept, but writer/director Greg Jardin crafts It’s What’s Inside with such a bold and singular vision that the entire film feels wildly original

From the first few seconds of the movie, we are exposed to chaotic editing, similar to a comedy which sets a lighter tone. This film isn’t necessarily a satire, but it certainly plays with more over the top crafts, which will consistently make audiences laugh out loud. The editing (Greg Jardin) especially feels targeted at high school and college age audiences, with the consistent quick cuts and overall fast pace. This both makes the entire film fly by and will surely keep audiences engaged, because if you miss one thing, especially in the first act, you’ll be lost until the credits roll. 

Another over the top element which really works is the dramatic score by Andrew Hewitt. It’s based around classical music infused with rock. During some of the more intense moments, the score blaring in the background helps you feel like you’re a part of this world experiencing some pretty devastating moments with the characters. Most importantly, no matter when anything bad happens to the cast, the style in which these events are conveyed never loses how much fun it is to watch everything go down.

The friend group is made up of eight people, and due to the twists It’s What’s Inside takes, each of them give wildly diverse performances. Without giving anything away, it’s hard to describe exactly what each of these characters have to go through, but it’s extremely impressive to watch how committed every actor was, especially during the second act. David Thompson was one of the biggest highlights in this ensemble, because his character starts out being easily the funniest to watch, but turns into a devastating arc by the end. Alycia Debnam-Carey ends up giving my favorite performance out of the bunch, since she carries the emotional weight of the film effortlessly, while still allowing the audience to not know her full intentions. 

a still from the movie It's What's Inside (2024), from the Sundance Film Festival
Alycia Debnam-Carey appears in It’s What’s Inside by Greg Jardin, an official selection of the Midnight program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Ultimately, It’s What’s Inside is some of the most fun I’ve had watching a horror movie since Bodies Bodies Bodies. Both of these films share the same type of unserious energy where you’re still on the edge of your seat but laughing out loud every minute. There are themes of perspective and desire discussed in a way I’ve never seen done before, and it’s all because of Greg Jardin’s totally unique vision. I honestly can’t even understand how someone comes up with a concept this complex and conveys it in such a shockingly creative visual way. 

When It’s What’s Inside premieres on Netflix, I know it’ll find its audience, especially with its heavy social media influence. It’s a funny, sexually driven, cautionary tale about friends’ true motives, and it could not have been a more exciting ride. I know I’ll be adding it to my collection of endlessly rewatchable films and I absolutely cannot wait to see what Greg Jardin does next. I’m sure it’ll shock audiences in the best way just like It’s What’s Inside.

It’s What’s Inside premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Netflix in a huge $17 million sale, as reported by Variety. Read our list of 20 films to watch at Sundance 2024 and take a look at all our Sundance reviews!

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