The I Inside (2004) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A man (Simon) awakens in a hospital not recalling the last two years. As he begins to find out things from his past, he discovers his ability to move from the year 2002 to the year 2000. By doing this he meets a link between the two time periods.

  • An amnesiac discovers himself leaping through time between 2000 and 2002 as his past returns to him.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Simon Cable (Ryan Phillipe) wakes with a start. Dr Newman (Stephen Rea) tries to calm him as Simon pulls at the tubes attached to his body. The doctor prescribes 5mg of diazepam. Simon is told he is in hospital and appears to have lost his memory after having been brought in the night before experiencing violent convulsions. He is told that he died and his heart stopped beating for 2 minutes. He will need to remain under observation for a few days. Dr Newman mentions that the hospital is short-staffed and that he is actually a paediatric doctor. He offers Simon a lollipop.

    Dr Newman tests Simon's memory and he remembers everything except for the past 2 years. He thinks he has woken up in 2000, but it is actually 2002 and he is told he is married to a woman named Anna who he does not recall.

    We cut to a montage of disorienting shots of Simon's POV from an accident. He is on the road looking at a man dash across the street in the pouring rain shouting, "Back that truck up now! Get these cars out of here!" We see flashing blue lights on a vehicle. An EMT runs up and asks, "Are you alright? Are you ok? Take it easy man, I'm gonna take you on a little trip." He is rushed to the hospital and operated upon. A female voice says, "His name is Simon Cable". Doctors start chest compressions as we hear a flatline and Simon's POV floats up and looks down on his body from the ceiling until the defibrillator brings him crashing back to earth.

    Just before Simon awakens startled yet again, a nurse mentions that she fears he might have been poisoned due to low Synoptic Cholinesterase. The doctor tells him he has short term memory loss and that they have to piece together the past like a puzzle (he has a puzzle in front of him). "There's only one inescapable rule in the game of life, kid. Sooner or later everybody has to stop playing." He says further that Simon's wife may help him remember.

    A woman (Sarah Polley) is fresh-faced and appears suddenly, excited to see Simon. She is shocked to hear he has memory loss and does not remember her. She asks him if he is crazy, laments, "I have nothing left," and leaves. Simon runs out after her and the orderly and Dr Newman stop him, saying that no-one has left his room. He turns to see a strange woman declare that the doctor has informed her about his condition. This is not the woman Simon saw just moments before in his room, but rather his wife Anna (Piper Perabo): mournful and distant.

    Anna and Simon sit with the doctor to piece together Simon's history. Anna says she was not with Simon the night before. Simon guesses that he must have been in the area visiting his brother, Peter (Robert Sean Leonard), who had moved into their deceased parents' estate recently. Anna reveals that Peter died before Anna and Simon met. They realise that Simon had gone to see Peter the night before his memory loss began. We see flashes of memories of car headlights, Simon driving in the rain, then an empty void. Anna reveals that he is thinking about a car accident which happened just before he met Anna. An orderly (Stephen Graham) walks past and winks. She says that this (St Judes) was the hospital he was brought to after his last accident. Anna says that 2 days previously Simon had come up to close up his parents' house which had been sitting empty. Dr Newman says that his low levels of enzymes indicate that he might have been poisoned by fumes from something like cleaning products.

    Dr Newman leaves the room and Anna slaps Simon telling him to drop the pretence. "I knew you were a good liar but this performance is unbelievable...This is about her isn't it? Do you think she's really worth it?" Simon is very confused. He stops her from leaving and asks about Peter's death. "Of course he's dead," she says, "you killed him".

    The orderly (Travis) enters the room saying it is time for Simon's MRI and Anna perks up again, giving him a kiss and smile goodbye. Travis says, "Come on, home boy, I'm gonna take you on a little trip." Travis looks like he might be the EMT from earlier.

    During the MRI Travis asks Simon what would make someone want to kill him. Travis is doubtful that the cause might have been the cleaning chemicals. "The biggest mystery there is is why and how someone dies," he says. Simon is left strapped to the MRI table and someone in scrubs enters but he cannot see who it is. The intruder does not respond to Simon's questions. The person injects Simon with something.

    "Somebody help me!" Simon cries. The room goes black and he wakes up in a hospital room with a couple of other patients. A doctor enters and Simon cries out that someone just tried to kill him. "You wacko!" one of the patients responds. "This is St Jude's hospital," says the doctor and asks him if he knows why he is there. Simon says he was just strapped to an MRI table and the doctor denies that, telling him he was admitted the night before. He is told there is no Dr Newman on the St Jude's staff, that he has no wife and that he was admitted due to a car accident. He is told it is 2000. He runs to the MRI room and lounge and nothing is how it was the day before.

    The doctor suggests that it is possible he might be suffering from a preoccupied delusion, imagining a story while he was unconscious. Names from the two times sound familiar: The patient in his room in 2000 is Traffid, and the orderly's name in 2002 was Travis. He said he met Dr Newman in 2002, and this doctor's name is Truman. He sees Nurse Clayton arrive and is shocked to see her again as she was in in his dream (from 2002). Nurse Clayton re-emerges with Anna dressed as a nurse. One of the other patient's recognised Simon as the son of a dead senator. Simon becomes angrier and accuses everyone in the room of being in on a conspiracy. "You're not real!" he shouts as he is injected with a sedative.

    He wakes suddenly and he is back in 2002 strapped into the MRI machine, alone in the room. He sees the intruder in scrubs enter again with a syringe and calls for the doctor who arrives causing the intruder to hide behind a door. The doctor calls for more sedative. He tells Simon that he has been prescribed a drug that has mild psychiatric side effects and that he is paranoid as a result. The doctor and the nurse leave without looking for the intruder and Simon sees him hiding behind the door. He bangs on the table until a nurse appears. We see a closeup of the door handle and a shadow of someone passing back out. The nurse frees Simon who looks behind the door and no-one is there.

    De Newman does not believe Simon that someone tried to kill him. He shows him the security footage of the MRI room and there is no evidence of an intruder. The doctor says he recalls vaguely a Dr Truman and the orderly says that there is a patient named Traffid on the 5th floor who has been waiting for a heart transplant for 2 years.

    Simon races up to see Traffid, who remembers him as "Wacko". Simon says that it proves that his dream was actually a memory.

    In the elevator on the way back to his room alone, the woman (who we know now as Clair), asks him where he has been. She regrets having run off but says that his words had felt cruel. He says it may take some time to remember and Clair says that they have time. "I love you," she says before kissing him passionately. An orderly wheels a body into the elevator and they exchange a few words. He leaves and Clair explains that he doesn't love her. "I know what we were and what you felt. It's just waiting to be remembered. Some things just don't get lost."

    Simon reaches out for Clair as she leaves and has a flashback of telling her he loves her. They explore a grand old house (presumably his parents') and she says the room they are in is her favourite room. "We always have a choice, Simon," she says before embracing him. In the distance his brother, Peter, looks on, distraught. Back to the present moment, Simon admits to remembering loving Clair. "Sometimes I can't help but think that we're paying for what happened," she says. Simon doesn't know what she means. He runs after her but she has mysteriously disappeared.

    He returns to his room and it is the year 2000 again - his roommates have returned. Dr Truman says Simon's brother is dead. He is told his brother was with him in the accident. Simon talks to Traffid about life and death.

    Dr Truman says Peter's fiancée is waiting. Anna is waiting in the dining room and says she has some questions for him about his brother's death, but is called away. Clair arrives - she is Peter's fiancée. He is shocked. He flashes back to greeting his brother. Back in the present 2000, Clair has disappeared and Anna re-emerges. She plays a recording of Peter saying, "Simon did this to me. Simon killed me." Anna tries to convince Simon that he killed his brother. Simon is confused and uncertain. He realises Anna will try to blackmail him into marrying her.

    He runs out into the hall and suddenly emerges onto the driveway outside of his parents' house. He sees Clair driving down the driveway. He goes back inside and hears voices arguing: his brother and another man who sounds like him. The second man pushes his brother out of a window. Simon looks down on the body of his brother as a man who looks like Simon drags the body away and into a car. As they drive away Simon turns around and is attacked by the MRI room intruder dressed in scrubs.

    A series of images flashes before Simon's eyes and suddenly he is stabbing something bloody with a pair of scissors. He believes it is the intruder who is trying to kill him. We are back to the time period of 2000. The nurse enters the room and says he has stabbed Traffid. Simon, covered in blood, looks at the body and realises he has, in fact, killed Traffid, and not the intruder. He runs away into the morgue. He see security guards chasing after him on the CCTV. He bumps into Anna who laughs. He runs away and is hounded by the security guards. He runs through a door only to be pushed back by the orderly, Travis, and his shirt has magically been removed of all blood.

    He goes back up to Traffid's room and finds him alive. Suddenly Traffid starts bleeding at the site of the original wounds given him by old mate. Traffid is soaked in blood. Simon collapses in a corner screaming, "I killed him!"

    We move Simon;s memory of putting his brother's body in a car on a dark night. He releases the brake and is about to send it off a cliff when the headlights of a truck pull up. He scrambles to stop the car moving, and he drives away. The screen fades to red. "Jesus!" Simon says.

    He finds the nurse asking her about Peter's death. She says that all his injuries were so severe he had to be put on life support where he died. Anna appears and she is bleeding (similarly to the injury she sustained in their fight in 2000 when she begins blackmailing Simon). She asks if they are clear on the terms of their arrangement. "None of this is going to happen," Simon declares. "The thing is Simon: it happened," she retorts.

    Simon tries to go back in time to change the past. He goes back to the night with Clair in his parents' house where he told Clair he loved her, in her favourite room. He sits Clair down and says, " We do have a choice...as much as I love you Clair, he is my brother, I just can't do this to him". Peter sees them, distraught. Clair runs after him and Peter tells her to leave. Simon runs out into the driveway after Clair but she drives off. Simon goes back upstairs to his brother.They fight and in trying to stop Peter, Simon pushes him out the window. He drags Peter to the car and stops at the crossroads. Left goes to Vista Point where he tried to get rid of his brother's body the last time and right to the hospital. Simon stops and then turns right.

    It starts to rain heavily. A car starts to tailgate him, flashing its lights and hooting. "You're gonna be alright, Pete," says Simon, there won't be an accident. Peter wakes up suddenly and distracts Simon who looks away from the road. He looks up again as his car crashes into Clair's car.

    In the aftermath of the accident, we see the EMT's place a sheet over Clair's body, and an EMT tends to Peter. We see that it is a woman who looks identical to Anna. Blue lights flash atop a vehicle. Another EMT rushes up to Simon and asks if he is ok. "Take it easy now man, I'm going to take you on a little trip." he says.

    It is day again. Simon walks into his parents' house. He meets Peter inside the room Clair loved so much. Peter says eerily, as he stokes his fire, "I wanted a fire and thought why not? Am learning to live a little." The brothers embrace. They have reconciled. Simon asks Peter to tell him what happened as he has forgotten. "I think you know exactly what happened. It's just too tough for you to face," says Peter. He reveals that on the night of the accident Clair had turned around and was coming back for Simon.

    We hear Clair's voice repeating, "I can't help but think that we're paying for what happened."

    Simon looks over at the family photographs and sees a photo of the two boys with their dad: who is identical to Dr Newman. We hear Dr Newman's voice: "There's only one inescapable rule in the game of life, kid. Sooner or later everybody has to stop playing."

    Simon is confused. He knows something is wrong. "This is your choice, Simon," says Peter, "You need to leave this behind you, Simon, for Clair, for me, for Dad. You died, Simon. We all did. And you can't move on from all of this until you let go. Let it go." Simon cannot. He says he needs another chance.

    Simon revives with the EMT on the road and we see a flash of Travis. We see a patient walk by him on the way in to the emergency room and we see a flash of Traffid. We see a flash of the female EMT and a flash of Anna.

    Simon is looking down on his body from the ceiling as he floats away.

    "It's your choice, Simon, where you go."

    The doctor declares the time of death: Simon stops breathing at 20:00. Time of death 20:02.

    Simon zooms back into his body and we are back at the first scene of the movie. Simon awakens with a start and the doctor prescribes him 5mg of diazepam.

    The doctor tells him where he is and says:

    "You died, Mr Cable."

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