original title: Livide
Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Starring: Chloe Coulloud, Felix Moati, Jeremy Kapone, Catherine Jacob, Beatrice Dalle
Taste the darkness
Lucie is starting her new job as a in-house caregiver. On her first day, she is assisting the veteran caregiver Wilson who has been doing this kind of work for too long and has become used to seeing old people lonely and sick.
Their last stop is at the big house of Mrs. Jessel, a legendary ballet instructor who is now slowly decaying in a coma. Wilson tells Lucie about a hidden treasure within the house and when Lucie tells her boyfriend, they gather a friend of theirs and enter the house at the night of Halloween to find this treasure, but what they find instead might take all of their lives.
Livid is a strange new horror film from the people behind the highly praised Inside. This film is however not rooted in reality, but rather takes a supernatural turn. It starts out as something that feels like a haunted house story, but becomes a very interesting and original take on one of the most frequently featured creatures of the horror genre.
It is a weird film that fails in being scary, but yet creates a strange mood and has some creepy visuals. I think many horror fans will be disappointed in that it isn’t able to deliver more effective scares, especially since the potential for a really scary film is there, but even so I was satisfied with where they went with the creatures and the story. It is more fantasy horror than anything else and they do not play down the fantasy element of it.
Even stranger is some of the references in this film. There is a Halloween 3 reference in the middle of the movie that feels out of place, but somehow still is fun and appreciated, mainly because it is done so well. There is also some flashback scenes in the second part of the film that have a very different and more beautiful look than the rest of the film. I found these scenes to be the most emotional and interesting and thanks to these, the ending made more sense and became more effective.
The leading role of Lucie is played by Chloe Coulloud. She looks kind of like a french Danielle Harris with her short height and cute face. She has the same type of girl next door feel to her, even though she is as beautiful as most other cinema “stars”. She has to carry a lot of the film and she does a good job with her character and I wouldn’t mind seeing her in more horror films in the future.
Livid might not be for everybody, but I believe that fans of 70’s French horror and exploitation will find this interesting. It is kind of a modern version of those older films that were inspired by Hammer horror. It’s very different from the directors first film Inside, but it only proves that these guys can handle different types of horror. I hope they stay in France and keep working on projects that they believe in and get full creative control over. Livid might not be flawless or a classic, but the good parts just worked so well for me and I believe it is a film that deserves to be seen.