New psychological thriller set in penthouse connects us to our experience during quarantine

By Uriel Reyes, Staff Reporter

Kailey Ryan

“Inside” is an upcoming film produced by A Private View and distributed by Focus Features, starring Willem Dafoe as Nemo, an art thief who does all possible to escape, no matter the cost, after an unsuccessful heist in a luxury penthouse.

While a penthouse is typically viewed as a dream home, in this film it’s the site of psychological torture for Nemo when his scheme to rob high-end artwork does not go according to plan.

The minimal amount of music in this film creates the feeling of what Nemo is experiencing mentally as the story develops.

There are a few comedic moments to ease up the tone, but it’s all to further show the insanity that overtakes Nemo as the days he’s locked up pass by. It is difficult not to sympathize with him in his desperation.

Dafoe is the face of the movie. And like any other movie he’s in, he stands and delivers.

In one scene showcasing objects in the penthouse or rather remains of what they used to be, Nemo says “Cats die. Music Fades. But art…is for keeps,” honing in on the importance of art in the film.

Since the beginning of time, art has been used as an expressive medium, from cave paintings to now new developments with artificial intelligence technology. Regardless of what it shows, the creativity of art is universal.

Even though the protagonist suffers internally from being inside (no pun intended) the penthouse for a long time, the insanity undergone leads to Nemo producing art. Whether it’s subconsciously or simply the escape from this nightmare, that’s up to the viewer to decide.

Viewers perhaps will relate to that feeling of insanity, after experiencing the effects of quarantine, where back just a few years ago, we may have felt a similar sense of being caged up and wanting to get out, a desire we couldn’t have.

Even more so, trying to make normalcy from that desperation, attempting to replicate activities or anything that previously provided joy pre-quarantine.

Art is sometimes in the background of film scenes, but the madness being succumbed to the cell called a penthouse of this film brings it to the front and center next to the main character.

And just as art can be appreciated by some and despised by others, in the same fashion, this penthouse, which was a dream to one, turned into a nightmare for another.

At the same time, there is the issue of destiny: are our journeys pre-determined or are we actually in control of it, and if not, how far will we go to avoid the inevitable? It’s notable how this film chooses to tackle that idea.

This is a film worth watching more than once, as its uniqueness is incomparable to sequels to remakes overloading theatres.

“Inside” premieres this Friday at your local AMC Theatre, with the closest to campus being AMC Dine-In Block 37 at 108 N. State St., and yes, truly, this film is an art for keeps.