Interview: Julien Maury

We have a chat with Julien Maury, one half of the directing team behind horror film Inside.

Julien MAURY

SciFiNow was quite taken aback by grim but great horror film Inside; here was a film that was unflinching in its brutality and smart at the same time. We recently chatted to co-director Julien Maury on his inspirations behind making this must-see picture.

How did the idea for Inside come to you?

Alex [Bustillo, writer and co-director] wrote the first draft. We met each other through a friend and Alex was a journalist at the time. After meeting, Alex wrote me a draft of the script and I showed him one of my short films. The next day we called each other and said, “Yeah! Let’s do this movie. We don’t know anyone in the production business, we don’t know how to do it but let’s try.” The first idea with the story was to change the sex of the killer. In horror movies it’s always a guy chasing after young girls; it’s one of the clichés of the genes. So the first main idea was changing the identity of the bad guy. We wondered what was the motivation for a woman to hunt another woman? And that was how it began.

Was it a low budget effort?

Yes, it cost 1.7 million euros. For me that was really comfortable because I come from a background of making short movies.

Did a lot of the budget get spent on the gore scenes?

Exactly. It’s a first movie so we were like kids in a candy shop. We are really big fans of horror movies and Inside wasn’t a way for us to be more famous, or done to enable us to do other types of movies such as comedy. We deeply love the genre so like kids on set we were always saying “More blood! More blood! More blood.” As it was the first one we weren’t sure we’d ever do a second one, so we were sure to put everything in. There was sort of a zombie, gore, Giallo style, anything we could put in.

As a director what styles influence you?

We wanted to be really close to Dario Argento’s movies. We had a lot of influences but were really close to a Seventies feeling, such as The Haunting Of Julia and the Roman Polanski movie The Tenant. The way that Béatrice Dalle is dressed is reminiscent of The Innocents, that sort of gothic dress.

Have you been pleased with the way the film has been received?

In France it’s hard to release this kind of movie, because the audience does not seem to be ready to receive a French horror movie. I think they have the idea that if it’s not American, then it’s not good. It’s really hard because we have to prove to the audience. But the audience does exist in France. For example, the Saw films are huge blockbusters in France. But the reaction has been good, not in terms of money, but the reward for us was a really good response from the critics. We even had a full-page article in Le Monde. Elsewhere, in Toronto, we had a huge response from the audience and that was really cool.

Did the film receive a big push when Dimension Extreme picked it up?

In the beginning we were a little bit disappointed because we would have preferred a theatre release. But it was a way for us to show our movie to a wider audience, so Dimension bought the movie before it was finished. We were still in shooting when Bob Weinstein called us and said: “I want your movie.”

What influences did you draw from when making Inside?

Switchblade Romance was a great influence for Alex and I. It was the first time in France that we had seen a real horror movie that is well made and really frightening. The director, Alexandre Aja, was delving into his subject and that really made the difference. In France we are not used to so many horror movies, and at that time Switchblade Romance was a big relief for the fans. So after watching it, Alex and me had the feeling that it was possible to make good horror movies in France – we weren’t doomed.

[•REC] director Jaume Balagueró has stated intent to remake your film. Is there any truth in this?

Yes. For the moment I don’t have much information. It is true that we met Balagueró and he told us that he really liked the movie and [was] a big fan of it. Two months after this he came to us and explained his wish to remake it. The latest news I had was that he was working on the script, but I think there have been some problems with rights and for the moment it is delayed. I don’t know if he is on the remake any more. For us this was really like a dream because we are big fans of Balagueró’s movies. For the first time it wasn’t the case of a newbie making the movie of a big director, it was the exact opposite where a huge director is making the film of two poor French guys. So we were proud of that.

Will this be a Spanish remake?

No an American one. We had a proposition from Hollywood to direct the remake ourselves. We said no directly; we couldn’t imagine doing our movie again. The interest of a remake is that you put a new director with a new point of view and vision for the movie. We could have done it, and added new scenes but what was the point?

What projects are you working on next?

We have developed a lot of things since Inside. We have worked on the Hellraiser remake but couldn’t find a way to really express what we had in mind to the Weinstein brothers. We couldn’t find an agreement on the script. After that, still with the Weinsteins, we worked on the Halloween sequel, but then Rob Zombie decided to come back. But at the same time we have developed a project in France. So we have three movies at the same time and we don’t know which of the three will be first to come.

Inside is available to buy now, courtesy of Momentum Pictures