The Madness Inside Me takes a number of horror elements and blends them together into a psychological thriller. Madison Taylor (Merrin Dungey) is a forensic scientist whose husband is killed during a home invasion. Instead of turning the perpetrator in, she begins to stalk him. She even seems to be getting a strange sense of pleasure out of it. She begins to wonder if this is the person she has always been.
The film is a character study masquerading as a thriller. This allows it to make some creative choices that would not work in other movies. There are plenty of stories about a person seeking revenge against their spouse’s killer. Few go to the psychological lengths that The Madness Inside Me does.
While the film does ask the audience to believe lots of psycho-babble, it still is grounded enough to draw audiences in. Many villains have tried to avoid death by telling the hero, “You are just like me!” In The Madness Inside Me, it is a constant struggle that Madison is wrestling with. This makes the character more well-rounded and interesting to watch.
The biggest drawback of The Madness Inside Me is its willingness to take on so much. Along with the revenge story, there are sexual exploits, tension with in-laws, and a sub-plot involving a convicted killer. The script tries to bring it all together, but it never quite gels.
This does not prevent the film from being intriguing, however. What seems to be a psychological thriller morphs into a deep character study. There are some flaws with The Madness Inside Me, but it is a captivating watch.
The Madness Inside Me opens in select theaters and is available on digital September 3
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