This was a completely spontaneous choice of rental and completely justifies my self proven theory that in most cases having clue what a movie is about, or most importantly, having no preconceptions of its quality can actually benefit the movie.
'From Within' is a linear story about a deadly curse which plagues a small god-squad town in the US. Triggered by the suicide of a pagan worshipping child, a string of suicides begin to tear apart the god-fearing society of Grovestown. Naturally, as a mortal sin, and therefore heading southbound once they snuff, it the remainder of the town begin to panic. Soon enough the panic turns to hatred as a small lynch mob of church goers begin to descend on the remainder of the Pagan family.
From the limited internet buzz surrounding this movie it would appear that the camps are divided. Those who simply took it as a quirky, easy to watch horror movie, and those who some how derived a load of religious debate from it. Well, I sort of see where they might have been prompted to think it, but lets be honest this movie prompts about theological and ethical debate as word of the day toilet roll. It is a nice simple plot which bumbles along at a so so pace balancing, nicely alternating between story telling and a little bit of tension. There are plenty of characters to get your teeth into, most of whom are acted out to a satisfactory level, although most are a little clichéd.
The films biggest selling point is it's script. In terms of action the movie is limited, there are a few scenes of violence, most in the form of suicide, and one pretty horrific burning, but for the most part the cast is relied on to keep the pace moving. As I said the acting is not bad, but really most of the movies success comes from a mixture of tension, humour and story telling. Don't get me wrong, the movie isn't exactly a new level of film making, but considering some of the chaff we have watched recently, it was a refreshing change. The story has few interesting twists and the end sequence was a real 'pleasant' surprise, which again highlighted the thought which must have gone into the movies writing.
My only real criticism of the movie is that in the beginning, the first stalk/death scene is quite tense, ending in a bit of a scare. Sadly, after this, the rest of the film is devoid of any real scares, despite the atmosphere remaining tense.
Overall 'From Within' is an interesting story which is told as well as it could have been. As I have said, the plot is fairly linear, but enjoyable non the less. If you are looking for an easy going chiller this could be your film.