That’s bad, but as he soon discovers, things get worse. Although the apartment is filled with priceless works of art (the end credits list them as other films do with soundtrack songs) and bric-a-brac, there is little in the place to suggest that people actually live there. The fridge is almost empty (although it helps to play “Macarena” every time the freezer is open, the pipes are turned off, and the only source of water is a pool, the automatic watering system for the indoor garden, and a couple of fish tanks (and you can probably guess the fate of the fish in them). If that wasn’t enough, the fritzing control system causes temperature fluctuations, which it seems like a coincidence, between the hot heat and the freezing low.
Nemo realizes that he has been around for a long time. But that doesn’t stop his determination to escape, especially by jerry-rigging the apartment’s furniture to a tower he climbs in hopes of getting through the skylight at the top. In the midst of those intense and sometimes painful efforts, while the days seemed to blend into weeks, he staved off the pangs of solitude by entertaining himself. He made fake cooking videos (showing how to make pasta without a working stove) and made up stories involving other denizens of the building that he could see through the security camera but had no idea he was there. The effect is like what Matt Damon went through “The Martian”—the difference is that all of this happens in a setting that costs enough money to potentially fund a good portion of a Mars mission alone.
Back to what I said about other filmmakers who could make something out of the Katsoupis and screenwriter setup Ben Hopkins planning here. While watching “Inside” and finding it not to work, I found myself thinking of three different directors who could have done wonders with the material. For example, I can see Jerry Lewis turns it into a potentially brilliant piece of sustained solo slapstick as he shrinks the area of destruction while struggling to escape. (If you doubt this, check out the amazing opening sequence of his last directorial effort, “Cracking Up,” in which he accidentally destroys his psychiatrist’s waiting room with klutzy moves , a waxed floor, and a bag of M&M’s.) On the other hand, I can also see the story as a kind of existential arthouse (no pun intended) horror film from the likes of Michael Haneke—a kind of what would be the result if he was unknowingly hired to manage the third “Escape Room” film. Finally, I would love to see this concept in the hands of the late great Larry Cohenwhich is famous for films with daring places like this and could have correctly navigated the movements to sociological commentary about the value, literal and metaphorical, of art.