It’s been five years since two talented French directors Alexandre Bustillo, and Julien Maury bought delivered a movie that really shook up the horror industry that movie was Inside (aka À l’intérieur). Not content to shake things up once, in 2011 they returned to deliver more shocks, this movie was Livid (aka Livide).
Lucie (Chloe Coulloud) lands a ten-day course helping a career in the small French fishing community she lives in. Under the tutorage of Mrs. Wilson (Catherine Jacob), she helps those that can’t look after themselves. As the day draws to a close they pay their final visit to Mrs Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla), a coma patient living in a massive boarded up house. As they tend to her needs, Mrs. Wilson explains that the old lady is incredibly wealthy, and somewhere in this boarded up building lays a treasure. With the information ringing in her head Lucie tells her boyfriend Will (Felixe Moati) and his brother Ben (Jeremy Kapone), all three have dreams of leaving their lives in the small fishing town that holds so many ghosts for them. The three head off to burgle the property, but are completely unaware that the “treasure” is something more horrific than the mundane lives that waited ahead of them before they visited the house.
Livid is a fine example of a beautiful looking movie, as much as one can use the terms horror and beauty in the same sentence. It’s beautiful in its set up, it’s beautiful in its depiction of horror. From the movies opening scenes as the camera pans slowly up a beach revealing something unpleasant, the movie has its own slightly unique style about it. This is very much one of those movies that once seen is never forgotten, sadly its only because of its look.
Sadly Livid’s story is not so well polished as it’s look, that being said its not an unpleasant way to spend 90 minutes, but you cannot help but wonder what is missing from the story, so many things left unexplained, and probably this is intentional, you cannot help but feel that there is something more spiritual about the movie that you should be picking up on, so unfortunately it leaves you asking the questions. It must be said, it is only the questions that leave you wanting/expecting more from the story, otherwise the set up to the story is impeccable.
There is so much you can say about Livid, but so much you should not say. This really is another one of those important movies that if you truly love the art of the horror movie, this is something you should add to your “watch list”. To classify Livid in the horror genre its not quite a vampire movie, it’s not quite a zombie movie, this is no body count hack and slash, and with a bizarre alternate reality that takes the movie into the realms of Cabin In The Woods or Delamorte Dellamore. And this is where this review ends, but don’t take it’s lack of detail negatively, just think about how much more this movie can deliver that your not being told about, and furthermore why?