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  • I saw "Livid" at the FrightFest in London a few days ago and had neither particularly high nor low expectations before the film started. When the credits began to roll 88 minutes later the final result was similar to my opinion of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's directorial debut in 2007 with "Inside" – it was good but flawed. However, any comparisons of the two films end here as they are on the opposing sides of the same genre and very different in their own right.

    The plot evolves around a young woman named Lucy who is beginning her training as an in-house caregiver. During her visit to an unattended old woman who is in a cerebral coma and living in an isolated, looming mansion, she discovers that years earlier she had allegedly placed a large treasure within one of its many locked rooms. As Lucy returns home the viewer learns of her struggles which are both financial and emotional due to a recent loss. Soon after she is persuaded to return to the house by her boyfriend and his brother in search for the supposed treasure and, in doing so, this is where their lives begin to go rapidly downhill…

    Firstly, I'll start with the good elements of "Livid." The cinematography and visuals are absolutely beautiful and really make it a pleasurable viewing experience, especially when combined with the pulsing, brooding score of the film. The actress who plays Lucy is fantastic in her starring role, playing a likable character but with genuine depth, and there are no complaints to be made about the supporting cast. Furthermore, and probably the most importantly – the film is absolutely terrifying at times. This was primarily psychological but also aided by some fantastic imagery.

    Regarding the weaker parts of the movie, I felt that the first two thirds of the film are substantially better than the final third. This is because, to put it simply, the film does not seem to know which genre it wants to be. The transaction it makes when switching is not a particularly smooth one. Because of this, many gaping plot holes are left open and at times it is a struggle to make sense of what exactly is going on. Another issue with "Livid" was that the filmmakers seemed too dependent on "jump" scares which cheapened the movie and often ruined both the tension and flow. Finally, I think the very ending was much sillier than intended.

    So whilst I had my issues with "Livid" I still believe that the strength of the positives more than compensates for the negative aspects, and that overall this is a genuinely good movie. I would recommend this to any horror (or even fantasy) fan. Considering the graphic nature of their previous film, it was interesting seeing the filmmakers experiment with such a different approach to the genre. And all in all, I believe it was successful.

    7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watch plenty of horror movies and very often I am bored. The reason is: in this genre, movies often follow the same old story lines. This movie is different and that might be its biggest problem. It is not a real splatter movie, it is not a real haunted house movie, it is not a real fantasy movie or a real monster/vampire movie. It is a unique mixture of many genres and I can understand that some people don't like this film. Are there plot holes? YES! Does everything make sense? NO! Are there lame moments? YES! BUT: I really enjoyed it. I loved the atmosphere, the soundtrack and the poetic moments close to the end. This is one movie that will become a part of my Bluray collection.

    So my recommendation: Get some nice wine or a good cup of tea and slip under a warm blanket. In my opinion is this a movie for a great evening in autumn.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Since the makers of "Livid" made quite an impact in the world of horror movies with their debut "Inside" I guess I was not the only one eager to see what they would come up with next. I did not expect another "Inside", so the fact that the basic plot was a recooked stew of horror movie clichés (old decrepit house, evil old lady, kids breaking in and acting dumb, takes place at Halloween...) mashed into a ghost story was not what is my problem with this movie. There even was a surprise after the movie starts out like a rip-off of "The Grudge" with very "Silent Hill"-style visual ideas and turns into a mix of ghost horror meets modern fable. The visuals are great, the lead actress has a great aura, the sound design is as cool and fear inducing as in "Inside" ... but the plot is a total mess. There is so much unexplainable and random happening, lots of cool visual ideas that just don't make any sense and the lead characters act really dumb from the beginning on. So what is the plot? Girl starts new job as a nurse for elderly people, comes into an old house with an evil older woman lying in a bed with an oxygen mask and blood infusions and hears about a treasure which the rich old hag must be hiding. Girl and friends decide to break in and steal the treasure and end up in a creepy house with strange ghosts and the evil old ballet teacher killing them off with her electric zombie vampire daughter, some zombie ballerina kids and lots of creepy toys.

    Nothing is explained and comes together... why are the woman and her daughter strange vampire creatures that can't go out in daylight... and even worse not at nighttime? Why does the girl play with creepy electric toys with stuffed animal heads, how come Mrs. evil Ballet teacher is so obsessed with making her daughter dance until she literally breaks, why is the woman not just an evil vampire but also very good in fixing mechanic spines, why is the lead nurse obliged to serve from childhood on, why are little killer ballerinas introduced and never mentioned again, why are people turning into zombies after being killed, why are there blue flames in the fields and why is the house spinning in space, why did the girl take the "wrong book" when she didn't even take one or look closely at it?

    Its a shame... the ending is a total cheese-fest and doesn't resolve any of the question but rather ends more on top. The movie is like a random Frankenstein monster built of very obvious parts ripped from other top horror movies. They even go for copying themselves when some frantic neck stabbing with Scissors is re-introduced from "INside" with less blood fountains and some gory scenes (particularly the jaw-tearing scene) seem thrown in gratuitously to not totally let down the "Inside"-Fans. Storytelling is a mess, editing is equally disjointed and the flashback transitions felt really lame... two scenes were near ridiculous, one being the cheesy ending of course and the other when the old hag screams for her daughter to dance... that felt like misplaced satire. The good visuals, acting and sound design and the creepy location and strange mechanic toys felt wasted on a bad script. After all an average movie with a lot of shadows and a lot of light ending in utter mediocrity... high expectations lie shattered.
  • The sexy Chloé Coulloud plays Lucy, a world weary girl in her late teens troubled by the death of her mother. On the first day of her latest dead end job as a care-worker her irritating boss Wilson, played by Catherin Jacob, takes Lucy to a creepy old house and introduces her to a comatose patient named Jessel. Lucy learns that Jessel was once a renowned dance instructor who's daughter, Anna, died at a young age. Wilson hints at the family wealth and teases Lucy with rumours of treasure hidden somewhere in the mansion.

    When Lucy's relays the story to dead-beat boyfriend William he persuades her and his brother Ben to accompany him to the house that night with the aim of finding the treasure.

    Livid is both haunting and horrific in equal measure. Scenes are dimly lit, taking place almost exclusively at night and where the only source of light is a torch or flickering bulb. The Gothic mansion is a perfect set piece for the unfolding treasure hunt and much of the imagery presented within the peeling facade of its ancient walls will linger in your memory long after the film is finished. The photogenic Coulloud is perfect as the dazed female protagonist, her sultry eyes, permanent pout and expressive yet somehow dormant features will have your attention in every one of her scenes.

    The first 80% of the movie is a wonderful addition to the haunted house genre, featuring some of the creepiest moments I've seen in a film of this type in a long time. Unfortunately, the story loses its way toward the end, uncertain how and where to finish, and wraps up with a series of ambiguous metaphors before spiralling out of control into full fairytale mode and throwing all previous suspension of disbelief down the can.

    Despite this disappointment, the majority is well worth a watch, guaranteed to give you chills and have you on the edge of your seat. It's hard to inject this kind of blanket horror into a film and for the effort and achievement Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury deserve full credit. More, however, should definitely have been invested in a conclusion more befitting the rest of the film.
  • Inside is possibly my favourite horror film of all time. I've not seen a horror film that matches its thrilling intensity and roller-coaster ride feeling, apart from maybe the final third of Black Swan (which isn't really horror). So you can imagine my excitement when Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (the writers and directors of Inside) announced that they were doing another horror film. I got even more excited when I heard the plot, and got really excited when I saw some down right beautiful images ie. The bloody girl floating. As you can imagine, I'm now really, really excited. I see the trailer which makes me more excited but then the reviews come in... The reviews aren't too good. All of them say it's nothing like Inside, and all of them very mixed, telling me to bring my expectations down to rock bottom and that's what I did (although still incredibly excited) and Livid didn't disappoint.

    The fact that the duo abandon the whole Inside theme all together and do something completely different with a slow, creeping, fairytale horror film just makes me respect them more. This shows that they're not one hit wonders and they do absolutely understand our beloved genre. I'd be more disappointed if they did an inferior rip-off of Inside. Livid just goes to show how versatile this couple are (not that I'm suggested they are an actual couple. just a friendly duo! Although there is nothing wrong with them being a couple of course.) Livid shows off their directing skills beautifully as they've created a magnificently-crafted horror film that can sit proudly amongst the other French greats.

    Obviously it will have to sit a few notches below Inside and others such as Martyrs and The Ordeal, because of course Livid is not a patch on Inside, but what is? Livid creates a wonderfully haunting atmosphere from the word go. It begins with some fantastic shots around a beach (including a severed head!) and grave-yard ehich really draws you in to the story. We're then introduced to a beautiful French lady called Lucie who's driving around with a sarcastic house-to-house carer and it's her first day on the job. We get to know each of their characters well and then things officially start when Lucie's introduced to a comatose old woman who supposedly has a treasure hidden somewhere and of course her and her somewhat idiotic friends decide to break in and steal it! Bad idea.

    There's a nightmarish quality that resonates all the way through Livid. The film is rich with atmosphere and imagery, giving it a fairytale vibe with its exaggerated and almost Tim Burton-esque production design. Livid has been made with such care and it really shows through! There's an almost choking atmoshpere when the group first break into the old woman's house, as it's all very oppressive with gaudy wallpaper and a rickety house design. There is also an undeniable creepy atmosphere and a feeling of something not being right. The first meeting of the ballerina girl is pretty chilling and the film is full of beautiful imagery that will likely stay with you for days.

    Livid is a horror throw-back. Back to those hammer horror days where horror films relied on atmosphere, rather than gore. However, that's not to say that there isn't some gore in Livid! Although it obviously isn't as extreme as Inside's unholy amount of blood, there are a lot of cringey moments! My only problems with Livid is that it did feel a little slow at times, which is fine for building up the atmosphere, however I think that it was building it up for too long at times. Also, I would've liked more character development on Lucie's friends, they just looked like they were there to be killed off! However, Livid isn't a slasher film, in fact it offers some rather terrific twists along the way.

    Livid tries to trick you with its old-school scares such as the dolls head moving, which is in fact done incredibly well! However, some original scares do suddenly start to come and they are very creepy. I could feel the panic of the group when they realised they couldn't get out this old mansion, with a creepy old woman on the top floor! There are also some rather brutal and inventive kills. I can see some people getting confused with its dream-scape-like atmosphere, but just think of it as a Dario Argento film or Mulholland Drive. The film is made to look like a nightmare, that's why things can turn surreal, and characters make perplexing decisions. P.s. I would've liked Beatrice Dalle to have been in it more, she was more of a nod to fans of Inside, but I think she could've played a bigger role. She was in it for all of 10 seconds!

    Livid goes up another notch in my book when it starts to bring in some gorgeous flash-backs that really do feel like a fairytale (although one not to be telling your kiddies!) That's when the plot really starts to thicken and things become very interesting and rather juicy! There's a wonderful finale, beautifully filmed and I didn't find the ending that infuriating like some people, just try not to take it too literally! So I did actually really like Livid despite the mixed feedback. It's a refreshing change to have a well-made haunted house movie, although it is French, thus obviously going to be good! Whilst Livid won't attack you emotionally like Inside or Martyrs, it will give you a solid horror film, with an interesting narrative and some beautiful cinematography and directing. I shall eagerly await Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's next horror film. But for now I'll just feed off of these two gems!
  • (source: www.top10horror.com ) I watched this movie during the Film 4 FrightFest Halloween marathon last year in London and next to Human Centipede II it was the most anticipated movie of the night. Being a French horror enthusiast I couldn't wait until the movie would be screened and after an awful show of Lulu Jarmen's "Bad Meat" (2011) it finally started.

    Lucy, an absolutely adorable young girl, with two eyes of different colours is the main character of Livid. She is just starting her training as a caretaker under Wilson's eye, a woman you want to trust but she just seems old and bitter. Lucy is brought to a big mansion where she meets Mrs Jessel, an old lady who has been in a coma for many years. Wilson tells her a story about a treasure that is believed to be somewhere inside of the house and that, Wilson herself, has tried to find it but she never did.

    After the first day of work Lucy meets her friends and tells them about the treasure rumour. The group of young people decide to break in Mrs Jessel's house with an intention to find the valuable objects to steal. They don't know what awaits them in the walls of the house though…

    Seeing Alexandre Bustillo's and Julien Maury's "Inside" (A l'interieur) (Top 10 French Horror list) I knew to expect only the unpredictable. I was expecting a twist and a lot… tons of blood and French cinema didn't let me down at all.

    At the very second I saw Lucy's eyes (you could totally see which eye is fake by the way) I remembered some stories I've heard about people with two-coloured eyes. Later Lucy explains that this is indeed called heterochromia and people are believed to have two souls, one for each eye. We learn a lot about Lucy's past through flashbacks (anyone recognizes the psycho woman from "Inside" as Lucy's mummy?) which makes us feel for the character. Everything framed with the beautiful music makes you feel nice and cosy watching the movie until… horrible stuff happens.

    Overall a stunningly done horror film, that doesn't lack in everything a horror movie should have, ended up in my French favourite top 10 list and I would watch it again anytime I if had a chance. I definitely recommend this movie no matter what you are into. If you like mysteries, gore, paranormal movies, just go for it and enjoy the ride.
  • Livide is a French horror film i the style of The Orphanage, in that it has just as much heart and fantasy as it does horror. A young woman begins working as a nurse and sees a number of elderly and sick patients. One in particular catches her eye, an old woman in a coma, who it is said, has a treasure hidden on the grounds. The young nurse and her boyfriend, along with a friend, decide to find the treasure. They break into the house but get more than they bargained for. The film builds up a meticulous but thoughtful pace, bringing us slowly into the world of this house at night. The fiilm keeps the horror at a distance at first, with loud noises from upstairs etc. Once it kicks off the gore is grotesque, but used sparingly, making it even more effective. Some of the visuals are of pure fantasy and even though they are at first horrifying, Maury and Bustillo soon use them poetically. A floating vampire girl in the sunlight, a wind-up corpse etc. All scary at first, become even more disturbing as they reach us on an emotional level. I felt the film tries to do too much in the third act. It tries to give us horror and fantasy, backstory in flashbacks, kills, and exposition, to the point it got a bit muddled. Kills were suddenly followed by long jumps into the past. The film does best when it shows its story visually, which thankfully, it chooses to do most of the time. Great performances, stunning visuals, a unique feel, and a mature handling of difficult themes makes this a worthwhile horror.
  • Tehmeh20 August 2013
    I'll say the worst things first. There will be a lot of "WTF did I just see" in the end. There will be loose ties and lingering questions. There will be some artsy stuff and no clear explanations to many things. If you don't mind that, or if you actually embrace that kind of stuff, I recommend "Livide" very highly.

    Acting is surprisingly good. Right from the start, you'll notice that even characters that appear for one minute, really do a convincing job. I really loved Chloé Coulloud. Not only was she pretty good in her role (though I must admit that it was the supporting actors, not the three main characters that stole the show), she's one of the most naturally beautiful women I've seen in years. You'll notice it.

    This is just as much horror as it is some crazy fantasy. It often feels surreal, and there's even quite a lot of gore. I was fascinated with the main mystery as well. Funny, because I watched "Cassadaga" before this, and it had the same three elements as "Livide": Supernatural, gore and mystery. While I wasn't impressed with Cassadaga, I loved this one. Cinematography is often beautiful and creepy, as should be when there's an old mysterious house as the main location. I loved the creepy stuff, the whole artistic design and interior of the house. Stuffed animals, dolls, paintings, statues, colors, lights, the works. And no, they're not there just for cheap jump-scares. While watching this, I really felt I was traveling in that same surreal house with the main cast, room by room. There's lots of imaginative, fairy-tale like material, and while I wouldn't necessarily throw Guillermo Del Toro - comparisons around, I can understand why many people do.

    That's it. I'm not a fan of french films, but this one won me over. It goes a little nuts at the end, doesn't answer all main questions and that may frustrate some people - me too, not going to lie - but this was still a very welcome trip. Not once was I bored nor checked my watch. This movie captivated me and my imagination to the very end. A little frustrating movie, but so very well done. I can't really pinpoint the main element that made me like this so much. Perhaps the overall quality and that certain "magic" that some movies just have.
  • parry_na12 February 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    Catherine Wilson (Catherine Jacob) is a home care nurse and is introducing young Lucie (Chloé Coulloud) to the job. Visiting eccentric old Deborah Jessel, a dying millionaire (several times over) in a coma in her sprawling mansion, Catherine insists on going to tend to her alone, leaving Lucy in the car outside. And yet Lucie is naughty and decides to follow her anyway – she also breaks confidentiality rules and tells her boyfriend Will about Mrs Jessel and her fortune. Naturally, the two of them (together with Will's brother Ben) decide to relieve the old lady of her riches one dark night … There's more than a hint of Del Torro in the way the house and its shadows are revealed to the trio as they explore it. The find the enclosed corpse of Jessel's daughter (is she the legendary 'treasure?') and things get progressively more weird from there. As the two lads become increasingly frustrated about not being able to locate any riches, they start smashing the place up. This changes them from impudent rob-dogs into people we actively dislike. But if we think they are behaving badly, the 'little old lady upstairs' is about to incur evil on a different scale.

    I hope there's no point trying to make too much sense out of what happens in the remainder of the film, because I enjoyed simply basking in the uneasy atmosphere of every nightmarish set-piece that is relentlessly displayed, and abandoning any intricate story strands. It's likely that you could pause the film at any time throughout and have a beautifully detailed horror image presented to you.

    'Livid' is not reliant on CGI effects, but those that are used are restrained and extremely powerful. They add, rather than detract from, the film's mesmeric quality. In all, 'Livid' combines wincing gore, violence and a true atmosphere of doom with some serene, haunting, even beautiful imagery: it is the darkest fairy-tale complete with reanimated animal heads, china dolls, tea-parties and the most haunted of houses. As it ends, you are greatly moved, and yet unable to pinpoint exactly why (although the wistful performances have a large part to play). A wonderful film.
  • Looking round a spooky old house inhabited by no-one but a comatose old lady for hidden treasure is usually not a good idea. Especially on Halloween. At the dead of night. This building is chock full of stuffed creatures, dusty relics and boarded up windows. But our three interlopers are desperate to get out of their dead-end lives, so in they go... and it turns out to be the worst mistake of their (soon to be cut short) young lives.

    The best horror films always have a good atmosphere, and you can feel every creak of the floorboards and each goose-pimple developing as the intrepid trio do their rounds. There are no cheap, easy deaths here... each one is built up careful and slow, until the nasty denouement. And these are people who given *gasp* BACK STORIES and what they says sounds like it could come from the mouth of a person, rather than a simple lamb to the slaughter.

    I'm not quite sure I understood all the plot details (even at the end) but what I can report is the execution is ingenious and genuinely disturbing. A horror with some semblance of originality, who'd have thunk it? Perhaps because it was made in France... away from the jaded genre prototypes of the USA. Coming soon: a remake, where they remove most of the chilling ambiance, and replace it with an unsubtle bloodbath, And a sassy robot. You know it's certain... 7/10
  • Chloé Coulloud plays trainee care worker Lucie Klavel, whose first day on the job sees her visit the crumbling country home of elderly coma patient Mrs. Jessel. On learning from her boss that Jessel, a once successful ballet teacher, is rumoured to have a vast fortune hidden somewhere in her house, Lucie, her boyfriend, and his brother break into the old building to search for the treasure, but uncover a terrifying secret instead.

    I absolutely loved French directing duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's brilliantly inventive and very bloody debut Inside, which only makes it all the more disappointing that their second film, Livid, is such a complete and utter mess, a hodge-podge of half-baked ideas wrapped in a stale 'freaky fairytale' aesthetic that makes not a lick of sense.

    A gang of thieves breaking into a building only to discover something terrible lurking inside is hardly the most original of ideas, and Livid's surreal, oneiric style, which includes the use of such trite horror clichés as bizarre toys, broken dolls, creepy children, and stuffed animals, only adds to the sense of deja vu. The ironic thing is, when the directors do steer their film into more original waters, matters only get worse, the pair delivering plenty of surreal spookiness and some decent gore but failing to give a rational explanation for any of the madness they depict.

    Vampiric creatures; a 'broken' ballerina given a clockwork spine; soul transference via moth; ethereal will-o-the-wisp flames; a flying house: undeniably very bizarre, but what the hell it's all about is anyone's guess. Bustillo and Maury sure aren't telling...

    3.5 out of 10, rounded up to 4 for IMDb.
  • Any movie that blatantly refers to the excellent classic HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH gets my respect, but when I realized that they were channeling the often misunderstood and under appreciated Jean Rollin, I knew they were after my own heart. LIVIDE may not be as cringeworthy as their previous effort À l'INTERIEUR a.k.a. INSIDE (2007) but then what can possibly more so than putting an 8 month pregnant woman in constant peril for 70 minutes as they did with INSIDE? (which I always felt was a bit of a cheap shot as effective as it may be) With LIVIDE directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury go supernatural and give the entire movie a phantasmagoric look and feeling that certainly gives many nods to great movies and directors of the past but at the same time they root the film in today's world and don't resort to any cheap tricks which makes this dark fantasy horror movie a very welcome breath of fresh air compared to the tiresome found footage movies and asinine remakes that seem to dominate today's horror movies as well as the repeatedly FAILED attempts to make an '80s throwback.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Back in 2009, French filmmakers Alexandrew Bustillo and Julien Maury brought a small independent horror film to the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was Inside, an incredibly bloody and frightening tale of a pregnant woman fighting off an attacker who has infiltrated her home. Inside helped contribute to a long string of superior French made horror films that included Martyrs, Frontier and High Tension. Bustillo and Maury came back to the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011 to showcase their new horror film, Livid, a horrible mess of a film that left the audience stunned in numb WTF-ness. Livid begins by introducing us to Lucy (Chloé Coulloud), a cute looking young girl with two different colored eyes that is starting her first day as a caregiver alongside her mentor Mrs. Wilson (Catherine Jacob). They travel from home to home, administering medication to the elderly until they reach the home of Mr. Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla). Here, Mrs. Wilson asks for Lucy to stay in the car believing the young apprentice to 'not be ready' for this one yet. But Lucy's curiosity gets the better of her and she soon follows Mrs. Wilson into the home where she is introduced to the comatose Mrs. Jessel lying on her bed with a oxygen mask on to assist with her breathing. Mrs. Wilson then tells Lucy of a treasure hidden somewhere in the home and this gives Lucy's boyfriend William (Serge Cabon) an idea when they discuss the workday over a drink at the local pub. William wants to break into the Jessel residence and steal from the coma stricken woman the fortune that would give himself, Lucy and brother Ben (Loïc Berthezene) a better life. The three travel to the old house later that night and break-in in search of their treasure. But what they encounter will be a home filled with taxidermy animals and a secret so deep that their revelation brings out elements of the supernatural. Whereas Inside was a masterpiece set inside the constrictive walls of a house and pitted two women against each other in a bold and bloody rage, Livid throws its protagonists into a house and then throws logic out the front door. The film includes vampires, ghosts, a serial killer, a murderous mother who looks like the ugly witch in Sleeping Beauty, and veil wearing children who like to beat and stab their victims to death. Bustillo and Maury don't just throw everything but the kitchen sink at their audience, they throw the whole kitchen at us too! The entire vampire angle just didn't work and although they implemented the whole 'sunlight is bad' rule, they pretty much ignore the rest in winging the story that Bustillo and Maury both penned. There were too many scenes that just didn't make sense – what's with the blue flame in the garden? Why is the house hovering in space? What's with the book that Lucy chooses and was Anna (Jessel's daughter that we are told was born mute and died years earlier) an angel at the end of the film? Worsening matters is the fact that Livid is just not very scary. It had one scene that force jumped the audience, but the remainder of any suspense or surprise came from the overbearing score that punctuated scenes that weren't scary enough to get a jolt out of its audience. Add two that where Inside and Martyr's went outside the normal conventions of the genre, Livid used the horror handbook for its step-by-step instruction. The characters are dumb (they bring only one flashlight to a robbery at night), they split up making them easier to pick off and they just don't act smart in situations that call for a bit of common sense. Bustillo and Maury really missed the mark on this one and they did nothing to help rectify the fact that French horror films are getting hard to finance as they discussed after the film's screening. Bustillo and Maury may still have a great future ahead of them. But as for now, all I will remember them for was one good film, and Livid was not it.
  • You can almost never be satisfied when you expect a movie to be as good or better then the book. So really, critiquing a film for not being as good as the book is always going to happen. Stephen King's The Shining is the only situation, in my opinion, where the movie was actually on par with the book. We had Stanley Kubrick doing the directing though and Jack Nicholson.

    But I digress, Livide takes an old premise and puts a decent new spin on it to create a very interesting and intriguing story. The production/style was outstanding, the acting decent, and story is extremely well thought out.(It must really be a good book)

    Still, If your a Horror genre or even a non genre fan that likes dark supernatural/horror/fantasy mixed into modern day life then this definitely deserves a watch. I liked it.

    NOTE: Its best to not watch any trailers before watching this movie and just experience it like I did first hand. It was a great mystery that the trailers ruin. Don't watch the trailers:(

    8 out of 10 stars
  • After watching this pretentious and utterly silly piece of crap, I can't help but wonder if Bustillo and Maury did really made the notable "Inside" or it was actually done by some friend of them.

    If you dare to watch this thing, you'll find yourself trying to digest a boring collection of clichés put together by means of an almost inexistent plot and a total lack of interesting ideas. Yeah, a bloody ballerina make for a creepy image and so does the old lady with the breathing artifact inside the over the top old mansion, but this doesn't make a movie. For that you would need some decent script, good characters, and a good enough story at least. You'll find none of it in Livide.

    There are many, many scary movies better that this one... Avoid until you've seen all of them. Lets hope that "Aux yeux des vivants" gets closer to "A l'interieur". This is far, far away.
  • A young home health aide finds out her new patient, a comatose old woman in a dark, gloomy mansion, was once a famous ballet instructor who's said to have a fortune hidden somewhere in the house. That night, the girl tells her beau about it and together with a friend they go back to rob the place -on Halloween, no less. Once they break in, the nightmare begins...

    A less garish blend of Mario Bava's "A Drop Of Water" (BLACK SABBATH) and Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA with a stately, "sedated" sort of style that gives the rural landscape, crumbling estate, and supernatural happenings a weird kind of MASTERPIECE THEATER vibe. The budget wasn't bad and the FX were pretty good but overall a 7/10. It would have been nice if whoever did the subtitles actually knew English.
  • A Ballet-School-Teacher. A hundred-year old witch. Dead Girls. Mirrors. Scissors. An old dark house. A girl heroine. Insects.

    Well. We are right here in Argento-Fairytale-Giallo Wonderland. And for anyone not old or literate enough to know Suspiria and Inferno, it must be a strange viewing experience. But here we are and the directors actually put it right in front of your nose: They show the certificates the witch/vampire got form the Freiburg Ballet Schule (yes and it is exactly the one out of Suspiria). Even more, you got the Scissors-in-the neck scene (Suspiria), Hidden Rooms (Inferno), Mirrors (Suspiria), Moths (ah.. Phenomena), a nonsensical Plot (of course Inferno) a complete reluctance to explain things (inferno) and a dream-like structure (Inferno). Basically this should have been the perfect conclusion to the Three-Mothers-Trilogy (Cozzi's and Argentos efforts don't count due to their lack of determination). But it only comes close as there are no memorable set-pieces and most of the film is handed in the Lamberto Bava (Graveyard Disturbance or Demoni (the film-in-film)) style of "Hey we're 3 youngsters, and there is a treasure in an old house, so let's go and get killed by that vampirelady".

    So it's a mixed blessing. To Argento-followers this is a must. Everyone else should check it out. But sadly no masterpiece. And coming from the guys who did inside it actually is a disappointment.
  • In the last decade there certainly has been a significant cycle of French horror films. Quite a lot of the most famous ones have focused on the more sadistic end of the genre, presenting torture, gore and general nastiness in new, often unusual, ways. Livid clearly indicates that Gallic horror comes in many shapes though, as this one relies considerably more on atmosphere rather than full-on violence. Its story has three young thieves breaking into a remote mansion one Halloween night; the only resident of this villa being a very elderly comatose former ballet teacher who they have heard has a 'hidden treasure' stashed away somewhere in the house. The trio, however, encounter far more than they could ever have bargained for and a night of uncanny horror ensues.

    This film is typified quite a bit by being a hybrid of genres. It's not strictly a haunted house film, although it often feels like one, it has fairy tale aspects yet could never be exactly described as a pure fantasy and while it does rely largely on atmosphere it often has scenes of visceral violence. This undefinable aspect is amplified further by a storyline that wilfully never makes complete sense and has many aspects that hang in the air somewhat. Unlike a lot of other people seemingly, I can't say any of the above really bothered me at all. In fact I thought it added up to a distinctive bit of Gothic horror.

    It's very nicely photographed throughout and the detailed, dusty interiors of the house are an interesting setting. There are many macabre things in here and some are quite strikingly different; the clockwork corpse being a good example of original thought from the film-makers. Pleasingly, it does get quite scary from time to time as well, with the evil old woman and her undead daughter being pretty sinister adversaries and interesting creations. As the story progresses flashbacks are used to explain events. But these generate as many questions as they do answers and by the end there is a definite enigmatic quality to much of what we have just seen. This ambiguity has been earned though; sometimes it's best for a dark fairy-tale to not reveal all its secrets.
  • TdSmth515 September 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    In Livid, Lucie who has heterochromia is on her first day as a practicing care giver and goes on rotation with a more experienced care giver named Catherine. They take care of older patients. Lucie isn't invited to see the last patient of the day, but she decides to go anyway.

    The patient is a creepy old woman in a coma who lives in a large house in the country. Catherine tells Lucie that the old woman used to be a famous ballet instructor and that it's rumored that she has a treasure hidden in the house and that she had a daughter Anna who died. Incidentally, Lucie's mom also died recently. The old woman also has a key around her neck that Catherine has tried on every door. Catherine also tells Lucie to pick one of the many books in the room. Lucie opens one and a moth flies out.

    Later Lucie tells her boyfriend about the treasure. He's poor and works for his dad on his fishing boat. He now dreams of a bright future and together with a friend/relative they decide to break into the house at night.

    So far everything is straightforward. The kids break into the house, grab the key from the woman and explore the rooms. They find a room with automaton figures at a dining table. Each figure has the stuffed head of a different animal. They also find what could be the woman's treasure- Anna's corpse mummified/petrified in a ballet position on top of a large music box. Suddenly the music box starts turning. As the kids separate, Lucie starts having visions of the woman and Anna's past. The woman also apparently wakes up from the coma to get her key back. One of the guys disappears into a mirror only to be killed by ballet girls. When he comes back out of the mirror he attacks Lucie's boyfriend. And now things get bloodier and murkier.

    Usually I don't appreciate movies that don't bother to explain themselves. But that is because usually obscure movies don't have anything to explain, they just have lazy writers. Livid doesn't suffer from that. On the contrary, it gives you plenty to think about, but doesn't provide answers, which is fine because the plot is more poetic, fantastic, and imaginative.

    The movie is so well-directed that even the first hour, which is relatively slow, is still engaging. In the last half an hour things get really wild and the horror aspect finally comes out. Livid is so different and unique, even though it borrows from old horror movies, it's quite endearing and you can forgive the slow start and the absence of clarifications. There are so many different elements here that allow for interpretation- the heterochromia, moths and larvae, automatons and human automaton hybrids, vampirism, a lot goes on and everything matters in the end.

    This movie succeeds because the writers/directors know how to write a story and direct a movie. But the problem is that they are the same who gave us the outstanding Inside. As such, this movie is a bit of a letdown and should really have been a movie that came prior to Inside. After having watched Inside, you do expect more from this team.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My initial expectations were that this film would be a classic teenager-slaughter-haunted-house-screamer type of horror. All I knew about it was what was written in the description on IMDb. I didn't read the reviews or the message boards, fearing spoilers, and I didn't pay much attention to the rating either, as somewhere along the line of 7.0 tend to be the upper end of the scale for horror movies on IMDb.

    I was wrong in my initial assumptions. The film is not a gore flick in a classic meaning of this term. Yes, there is quite a lot of blood, fresh wounds and bodily harm, but it is certainly not the main component of this film. And I'm not talking suspense or survival either. The main component of this movie is... *dramatic drum roll* ...writer/directors' poorly executed ideas! Don't get me wrong, it's symbolism in its best - there is a second and indeed a third bottom to this story. It is just so distractingly told it takes away all the immersion and replaces it with a feeling of... You know that feeling when after seeing a stand-up comedy show your friend starts re-telling one of the jokes that the comedian told, but for some reason it just doesn't sound very funny at all? It's THAT feeling - awkwardness mixed up with appreciation and contempt... sort of.

    The story follows a young caregiver and her two male companions, as they make their way into an old woman's house, to acquire some of her possessions in a less-than-legal way. Without spoiling too much, I can tell that what follows is an interesting, though as I said poorly executed journey into the history of the house and its owners. There is bloodshed of course and a few loud-noise-sudden-movement type of scares, which are, sadly, predictable. But there is more bad news than good news I'm afraid. While the story is moving and original, the characters are underdeveloped and hard to relate to. Sometimes they act irrationally and not even in the classic "let's check this dark basement" kind of way - they just do weird things against all reason and in a ridiculously scripted manner. Some of the events, though evoke symbolic meanings, do not fit very well into the overall mood of the scene, or the film in general.

    Acting is bad. There are only a couple of decent performances, and that's Catherine Jacob as Catherine Wilson and Chloé Marcq as Anna. The rest was just bad - especially Jérémy Kapone as Ben - even when afraid he just looks bored. Because of the poor acting and underdeveloped characters you never really connect with any of the protagonists.

    There are of course good sides to the film as well - the story is interesting, the setting is atmospheric and very detailed. The mood is there for the most part and that is all extremely important for a horror movie to give the viewer what he wants: a piece of shiver-inducing entertainment.

    In closing, I must say that as hard as it is to make even a half-decent horror movie, to make a horror movie that has as much depth and complexity as Livid is even harder. And because Livid pulls it off and manages to deliver a few scares here and there, it deserves at least some recognition.

    Thank you for reading, and enjoy the film if you haven't watched it already.
  • It's interesting the movies promoted with this one on dvd, including Monsters, Troll Hunter, Hell and Sauna. Livid is certainly up amongst that calibre. In fact, I think it's one of the finest and easily most original horror films I've ever seen. The last half, by jerky but accurate degrees, ratchets the supernatural into the nightmare, all leading to most unexpected twists, then revelations. It's super spooky, yet super cool at the same time. Keyed to all this is the sets, the house itself, which is a masterpiece of a forgotten generation gone to creaks and cobwebs, which must have taken a full interior crew several weeks to prepare. Then there is the highly apt cinematography, starting with an amazing lead-in, and supporting everything outside the mansion until the final moments. This is when one realises the wide vision of the movie. The Writers/Directors have managed to create a superb genre movie that, uniquely for its genre, actually chills and makes thorough horror sense (without being tied to a cultural stereotype). It's chillingly believable, and great horror. The sound design was top notch too, and there were a few very cool effects to enhance the story. The lighting was brilliant as well, just enough to see, but not bright enough to relieve. The actors were well chosen and go to their parts very convincingly indeed. Livid is a French horror gem, and a world-class standard to aspire to.

    In case anyone is wondering .... I've docked it a point for the behaviour of the male youths, which the writers had no need to make so uncouth, for an illogical sequence involving a young girl early on, and for the illogic of committing a robbery without any research first. Once again filmmakers have swept away illogical actions by the all convenient stupidity of youth. Is that OK for movies these days? I think it was Judge Judy whom used to say "If it doesn't make sense then it isn't true". Just a thought.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Stylish and creepy ghost story originating from France. The story revolves around a group of kids who break into a mansion and try to rob an old woman of her treasure. Easy pickings one thinks as the elderly lady is in a coma. Much like the 'Orphanage', 'Insidious' and 'The Woman in Black', these ghost, horror tales have been hugely successful but now with an air of familiarity. Saying that though our French cousins (on the whole) make superior films and the visuals here are both stimulating and beautifully shot.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sorry guys, I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I don't think I can avoid a few.

    Well, this movie has two very distinct parts.

    The first part goes from the beginning until the main characters find Mrs. Jessel's daughter. The movie is quite nice that far. The house is great, very good mood, plenty of suggestions… In two words: well made.

    The second part goes from the finding of Mrs. Jessel's daughter on, and let me tell you, the movie turns into something rather horrendous to watch (unless, of course, you are into teenage horror cheap movies). From them on, you have characters making crazy impossible assumptions, unsustainable with what they know; the suggestions I mentioned turning to strange creatures that we never get to know full well what they are; and the inevitable "coming back one more time when all seems over" of the bad guys.

    The cherry on top, the spoiler that really illustrates what this movie is about, and that, had I known, that would spare me the time I lost watching Livide, is seeing the main character, Lucie Klavel, punching the… well, monster that haunts the house in the face, and throwing it/she over the stairs all the way to the ground floor.

    And basically it comes to this: If you enjoy teenagers and monsters going at it, you might like this movie. If not, you'll probably find it terribly bad, as I have.
  • Lucie is a caregiver trainee who with the help of older trainee Wilson begins to work at the home of Mrs.Jessel,old and comatose ballet instructor.Wilson tells her about the treasure hidden somewhere in a decaying mansion.Lucie,her boyfriend and their friend decide to break into mansion in the middle of the night.As the darkness descends the blood begins to flow..."Livide" by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury is obviously influenced by Dario Argento's "Suspiria" and Italian giallo sub-genre.It's a hauntingly beautiful and poetic nightmare with lovely atmosphere of dark fairy-tale and plenty of horrific gore.The Jessel mansion looks extremely eerie(both inside and outside)and there is enough stylish terror to satisfy fans of "Inside".The climax of "Livide" is quite disappointing,but overlook that and we have another stunning example of French New-Wave Horror.8 bloodstained ballerinas out of 10.
  • From the directors of À l'intérieur (2007) this is their follow-up. Inside as it was called outside France was know as one of the holy gory french flicks so everybody was expecting the next Inside but it isn't.

    One way I was glad that they didn't made a copy of Inside but on the other hand I was sad that this isn't one of French gore flicks. Still it's an excellent movie. I agree, I had difficulties with the end but regardless that fact I rather enjoyed this creepy flick which still has it's gory moments.

    Lucy (Chloé Coulloud)has her first day as in-house caregiver. Everything goes well until she is asked not to follow inside the house of Mrs Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla)but curiosity killed the cat and she does enter the house only to see an old which look-a- like woman laying in bed. On her neck a chain with a key. Going back home Lucy met her lover and his boyfriend William (Félix Moati) and Ben (Jérémy Kapone). Both not having a lot of money and Lucy telling of the key and the treasure connecting to end they enter the house. From there on this normal flick turns into a slow building creepy flick until the extreme gore comes in. The acting was okay but again it's the effects used for the gore (no CGI) that makes it all worth watching.

    Being a bit of a supernatural thing some will turn it off after a while but keep waiting until Mrs Jessel wakes up out of her coma. A rather good surprise and I would recommend it to gorehounds but be warned, it isn't like the holy French goreflicks.

    Gore 2,5/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 4/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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