Author(s): James Somerton
"Death Inside Her"
Directed by David Lynch
Written by David Lynch
Naomi Watts as Kendra Childe
Nicholas Cage as Tommy Childe
Laura Dern as Helen Blackford
Ed Harris as Detective Larry Milk / The Demon
Isabella Rossellini as The Bar Maid
Synopsis: Kendra Childe is peacefully reading a book when her husband comes home. He's in a rage and she's scared. He threatens her. He's going to kill her this time. She knows it. He grabs her. He throws her on the ground. A punch. She hears cartilage break. She tries to run. Only gets to the kitchen. Grabs the gun out of the closet. He's running at her now. She fires.
In the past Kendra and her husband, Tommy, had not been getting along well. Tommy had become abusive once his dreams of stardom had been crushed, and Kendra had always been too timid to do anything about it. Even when her best friend, Helen, urged her to call the police. When she got pregnant she thought that he would change. He wouldn't beat her up anymore. Not if she was pregnant with his child. But anger sometimes trumps reason.
Kendra is in hiding now. In a motel just outside the middle of nowhere. Helen has informed her that cops are looking for her. They've found Tommy's body and she's the main suspect. She can't handle the stress. She looks toward a nameless bar maid for help. The woman gives her special pills to make the pain go away. When she takes them she is a different person. Her world is perfect. Horrifyingly perfect. Except for one smudge. A demon that follows her, casting shadows over the perfection. The only way to stop it is to go back to reality, but she can't do that. Reality is worse.
Detective Larry Milk is on the look out for Kendra Childe. She left her husband with half his face missing and now no one can find her. They've searched all her friends houses. They've monitored both hers and Tommy Childe's credit cards. No charges. She's a slick one. But he'll find her. Crazy bitches like these need to go down. Hard.
Kendra cant hide from that Demon. His shadow is everywhere! And her world is starting to bleed. It's bleeding reality. The demons getting faster and she cant outrun it anymore. Finally it catches her. It wants to take her away. But she can't go. She has to escape. Somehow.
Detective Larry Milk has her now. He tracked her down to a dive of a motel. She's in the prostitute suite. Figures. He's about to send the boys in after her. But then she comes out screaming at him. To him, he only has one option. He fires.
Kendra Childe stands over her dead husband's body. She drops the gun to the ground and stares at him, at the blood covering the floor. At what was once his face. Its over. She's safe now. She can leave. And so she does.
What the Press would say:
"Death Inside Her", David Lynch's latest twisted masterpiece, is like a disjointed dream. It tells the parallel stories of a woman trapped in her own denial and hallucinations, and the man hunting her down for the murder of her husband. Naomi Watts plays Kendra Childe, a woman finally driven to murder by her abusive husband. When she feels her unborn child is in danger she doesn't risk it's death. After the murder she goes into a mental tailspin that leads to her popping pills that create a new world for her. A world of vividly bright colors and characters that always wear smiles never have a care in the world. A sickeningly sweet world that is slowly morphing into reality as Kendra's tolerance for the pills builds up. Watts' performance is spellbinding as she draws into her world with her absolute believability. She becomes this woman so trapped in reality that hallucination is the only way out. But even that becomes difficult when a demonic shadow enters her world and begins hunting her. Like a wolf, it never stops. No matter where she goes, it gets closer all the time. In reality this demon is Detective Larry Milk, played by Ed Harris in a very stern, yet sometimes comic, roll that just oozes film noir. Larry Milk becomes obsessed with Kendra Childe when she becomes the first person he hasn't been able to apprehend right away. His obsession soon turns to anger and he has no problem pulling the trigger on the crazed, unarmed woman. Milk's dry one liners sometimes put the audience off their guard, making his fits of frustration all the more powerful. He's not against making bad jokes about necrophilia and periods, a trait that slowly reveals alot about his character. Although Kendra has slipped into madness, it isn't too hard to imagine Milk not being all that far off himself. The only completely sane character in the film is Laura Dern's Helen Blackford. She remains levelheaded throughout the film, even as she is drilled for answers by Milk. She's the audience's real support as she tries to grasp Kendra's frantic phone calls about her dreams. Her failed attempts at trying to get Kendra to make any sense at all gives the audience an anchor they would otherwise be missing. This film is David Lynch's interpretation of the worst possible breakup. He invites us into a dark world where murder is justified and justice is warped by one man's obsession. Lynch is all over this film, from the small towns to the coffee shops and finally to the dreams. At all times, he leaves the film slightly off balance. Maybe a few too many degrees to the left. It's not odd enough for us to lose interest, but just enough so that we're completely drawn in. Its a delicate balance that he skillfully manages here. He uses gunshots almost as bookends in the film. One brings us away from the murder of Kendra's husband (an event we never actually see), and the other brings us away from the murder of Kendra herself, back to the aftermath of the murder that started everything in motion. "Death Inside Her" will draw you in and shake you up. It is David Lynch at his finest. Here is an artist giving you access to his mind. If you dare to enter you won't be disappointed.
Best Director - David Lynch
Best Actress - Naomi Watts
Best Actor - Ed Harris
Best Original Screenplay