It Lives Inside (2023) Horror Movie Review


“It Lives Inside,” the 2023 horror film helmed by Bishal Dutta, offers a chilling blend of cultural exploration and classic demon possession. While it boasts a promising premise and culturally relevant themes, the film ultimately stumbles under the weight of underwhelming horror and underdeveloped characters.

Stepping into the Shadows:

Samidha, a young Indian-American woman struggling with her cultural identity, finds herself entangled in a terrifying ordeal after performing a forbidden ritual. The Pishach, a malevolent entity from Hindu mythology, latches onto her, twisting her insecurities and threatening to consume her entirely.

A Haunting of Lost Potential:

The film’s initial strength lies in its cultural integration. Exploring the pressures of assimilation and the allure of forbidden traditions adds a unique layer to the typical possession narrative. However, this promising avenue remains largely unexplored, leaving viewers wanting a deeper dive into Samidha’s cultural conflict and the Pishach’s mythological significance.

Frightened by Familiarity:

The horror elements, unfortunately, fall short of delivering genuine scares. Jump scares and predictable tropes dominate, lacking the innovation and tension crucial for a truly chilling experience. The film relies heavily on darkness and distorted sound effects, creating a generic atmosphere that fails to linger long after the credits roll.

Characters Lost in the Dark:

While the premise delves into Samidha’s identity struggles, her character development remains undercooked. Her internal conflict feels more hinted at than explored, leaving her emotional journey less impactful. The supporting cast, despite decent performances, also suffers from similar underdeveloped roles, failing to provide engaging allies or compelling obstacles.

Flickering Glimmers of Hope:

Despite its shortcomings, “It Lives Inside” isn’t entirely without merit. The cinematography effectively utilizes shadows and claustrophobic spaces to build atmosphere, and the score does its part to enhance the eerie mood. Certain scenes, particularly a nightmarish sequence involving traditional Indian dance, showcase the film’s potential for genuine horror.

The Final Verdict:

“It Lives Inside” presents an intriguing premise but ultimately fails to deliver a truly terrifying or emotionally resonant experience. The underdeveloped characters, predictable scares, and missed opportunities to explore its cultural themes leave viewers wanting more. While it might hold some appeal for those seeking a culturally-tinged horror flick, it’s unlikely to stay with you long after the lights come up.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars:

If you’re looking for a fresh take on possession horror with a cultural twist, “It Lives Inside” might offer a spark of interest. However, if you crave bone-chilling scares and well-developed characters, you might want to seek your thrills elsewhere.


Genre: Supernatural Horror

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