‘It Lives Inside’ Review: The Horrors of Developing Self-Acceptance | ET REALITY


Why did you come here, Samidha taunts her mother, if you were going to be another Desi housewife? It’s as piercing a blow as an American child could deliver to his immigrant father, and it’s emblematic of the kind of disdain central to “It Lives Inside,” a social horror film from writer-director Bishal Dutta, in his feature debut.

As Samidha (Megan Suri), an Indian American teenager, grows older, she becomes increasingly distanced from anything that might reveal her cultural identity. She and her classmates call themselves Sam, she avoids speaking Hindi and had a mysterious breakup with Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), an Indian American classmate who used to be her best friend. When she lashes out at Tamira, she unknowingly unleashes a monster drawn from Hindu folklore.

It’s a compelling premise. And as a horror film with scares and an effective soundtrack, the film largely works. But the larger themes around internalized racism and the immigrant experience fail to go beyond the basics, and the allegory doesn’t always succeed: the connection between the movie monster’s backstory and the idea of ​​self-acceptance. cultural is quite weak.

Still, it’s a promising debut from Dutta, offering a fresh premise that feels natural for the genre. The themes will be familiar to American children of any diaspora. First of all, high school is scary. But when there’s only one other partner of your race, what’s worse than being mistaken for each other?

Live inside
Rated PG-13 for horror, violent content, gory images, brief strong language and teen drug use. Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes. On cinemas.

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