The Inside Job: An Economic Horror Film


Charles Ferguson’s wonderfully spare documentary opens with a depiction of the 2008 financial collapse in a micro story about Iceland’s own monetary demise. It’s a terrifying yet simple introdction, shrinking down the dread of a global ressession to one tiny country, which culminates with a controlled explosion, cleaving a beautiful mountain in half. As a metaphor it’s certainly a powerful image but one which has little punch when compared with the state of play in the United States.

Calling in numerous experts, bankers and lawyers, Ferguson sets about dissecting just what went wrong in an informative and unshowy manner which, under the guide of some other documentary makers, might have veered into the patronising or the cartoonish. The Inside Job instead holds is course simply and effectively with little more than talking heads, stock and news footage all pieced together by the voice of a laconic Matt Damon. Though some of Ferguson’s targets are less than forthcoming his line of questioning is admirable and passionate especially when his theory is based on the fact that it all could have so easily been avoided.

His circling helicopter shots and thriller score, along with the title itself, map it all out as an elaborate heist movie and to a certain extent of course, it is. A heist movie with a lot of villains. If you can get over the rage of wanting to personally punch nearly every one of Ferguson’s interviewees in the neck, The Inside Job is a brilliantly well constructed financial horror film which everyone with a bank account, a mortgage or a brain must see.  

  • Apr 27
  • 5
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