Six films that explore the horror of grief and trauma

A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing. /
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grief and trauma
Inside – Courtesy Shudder /

Inside is usually discussed when the subject of French Extremity Films comes up. There is no doubt, it’s not a film for the weak of stomach due to the sensitive subject matter and the massive amount of blood. But like many French Extremities, it also has an emotional center.

It’s Christmas Eve, and only four months earlier, the very pregnant Sarah was in a car accident that killed her husband. She and her unborn child survived, but the grief and trauma she suffered have affected her greatly. There is no joy evident when she talks to her mother about the upcoming birth of her baby. In fact, she won’t even let Mom come over that night, and asks her boss to take her to the hospital the next day for her scheduled delivery.

Really, all Sarah wants is to spend a quiet, depressed evening alone. Those plans are interrupted by a knock at the door, and a strange woman asks to use her phone. Sarah tells her no, that her husband is sleeping and can’t be disturbed, and her suspicions are confirmed when the woman knows that Sarah’s husband is dead.

When the stranger won’t leave, Sarah calls the police, but the woman is gone when they arrive. They look around, and promise to send a patrol car by periodically through the night. A look through some photos Sarah took recently shows that the stranger has been following her.

Sarah awakens during the night to find the woman holding scissors to her pregnant belly, and, shockingly, she slashes Sarah with the scissors before she can get away and lock herself in the bathroom. This strange woman states that she intends to keep Sarah’s baby…after removing it forcibly from her body.

What follows is a tense, very bloody standoff, and this stranger means business. She manages to slaughter a few people who attempt to check on Sarah, and the two women inflict considerable damage on one another before the film ends. We also find out exactly why the stranger is so consumed with taking Sarah’s unborn child, and the reason is actually pretty heartbreaking.

If you want to watch Inside, you can see the original French version on Tubi. There is also an American remake, but most fans agree that it is inferior to its predecessor.