April 27, 2012

Livide (2012)

(aka Not Inside part II)
Release Date: On DVD now (Germany.)
Written & Directed by: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury.
Starring: Chloe Coulloud, Catherine Jacob, Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Chloe Marcq.

We've been waiting for Bustillo and Maury's follow up to their 2007 French classic, Inside, for years now. Inside was a nasty little movie that stuck with us long after we had seen it, and we we're hoping to be equally as disturbed by their newest offering, Livide.

Well, we were and we weren't.

What is this I don't even.
Lucie is a young, hot French chick who just got herself a job as a traveling nurse. She's got two different colored eyes (which is foreshadowing about having two souls or something), and can't follow directions very well. While traveling around visiting patients and learning her new routine, she's told to stay in the car by her trainer, Mrs. Wilson, because "she's not ready" to handle the likes of their last patient of the day. Of course Lucie doesn't stay in the car and wanders into the creepy old mansion of Mrs. Jessel, which pretty much seals her fate.

Creepy tea party from hell.
Lucie finds Mrs. Wilson attending to the comatose Mrs. Jessel. Her trainer tells her of a secret treasure rumored to be hidden somewhere in the creepy house, and that the old Jessel whore had a Daughter who died under mysterious circumstances, many years ago. Those two plot elements should be enough to terrify most people into never wanting to come back into the house, but not Lucie, because she's not very bright.

Relax, it's just a doll.
Lucie hatches a scheme with her boyfriend and another nitwit to break into Jessel's house, find the treasure for themselves, and live rich and easy for the rest of their lives.The problem is that the treasure involves a bunch of Vampire ballerina kids, teleportation mirrors, a floating house, and plenty of nuance. Needless to say, the blood flows and people die in horrible ways, and we're not exactly sure what in the hell happens at the end.

Livide is a gorgeous and very atmospheric movie, which is really quite something to behold. While not as effective as their first film, Inside (2007), Bustillo and Maury absolutely know how to craft and direct a movie that pulls you in and pushes your fear buttons. The movie felt a lot like Suspiria at times, and in fact was an homage to the Argento classic, although there were definitely differences between the two, both technically and aesthetically.

Think of Livide as a new twist on the Vampire mythos, with some elements of Witchcraft and serial murder thrown in, all wrapped up in some odd sort of fantasy blanket. It's thematically complex at times, and overtly bloody and gory at others. It's definitely a mixture of a lot of elements, all of which work or fail to varying degrees. It did lack focus and felt anything but linear, which detracted a bit from the overall great quality of what we saw on screen.

There's always some sort of eye torture in these Italian-inspired French Horror flicks, isn't there?
The whole subplot involving the two guys convincing Lucie to rob the house really should have been left out of the movie, as it only truly served to get them into the house so that the rest of the movie could happen. It felt sloppy and unnecessary. Why couldn't they have explored the other subplot with the creepy chick abducting kids and draining them of their blood... that would have been more satisfying and effective, in our opinion.

Why the hood?
What exactly was this movie trying to be? At first, we're given a creepy and atmospheric Horror flick that showed signs of being truly great, but then as the film wore on, it became more of a Dark Fantasy movie. By the end, it felt like some sort of spiritual meditation of the freedom of the soul or something. Maybe it was the ending itself that made things so awkward, because it was a little bit... out of place. Metaphor and sentimentality twisted this movie into a bit of a confusing mess at times. The movie was too ambitious for its own good.

There's plenty of bloody and disturbing elements to be found here, most of them involving Vampire shenanigans of some sort. Lots of kid violence too. It wasn't as visceral as some other French Horror offerings such as Inside or Martyrs, but it was visceral enough.

Maybe she fell down in the tub?
Nope, but we do get to see a wizened old lady laying in bed wearing an oxygen mask, if that's your thing.

Dance lessons lead to nothing but death. Also, you really shouldn't ever try to steal from a helpless old woman in a coma, because it's a trap.

Fun times at the Dance Academy of Death.
Livide is a movie that falls into the B-range because it's a well made, mostly effective and gorgeous film, filled with enough gore and menace to satisfy the average Horror fan. If it would have been a bit more focused, lost the jump scares and made a bit more rational sense, it could have definitely been an A-range affair. As it stands though, Livide is a solid effort that you should check out when you're able, just don't be surprised if you find yourself saying "what the hell just happened?" afterwards.


Chloe Coulloud is one hot French girl, as evidenced by her facial features and nice figure. We don't make this stuff up, that's just how it is.


  1. I like the look of this. Pity it's not as good as Martyrs but that's always the way.

    I don't mind if the girl doesn't get nudie though, I'll still find a way to use my box of tissues over her.

  2. This seems like a very beautiful and interesting movie i should watch it , i was waiting for a mega horror movie.

    High School Diploma

  3. I'd watch a Horror movie for the looks...

    there was this one movie I saw once called Necronomicon I think. It didn't do much for me as a horror movie but I just watched it all the way cause the creature effects looked cool.

    I'll watch this one too for sure.

  4. Hey, I just wrote about the 1974 horror movie "Horror of the Zombies". If you like read about it on my website.

  5. i didn't get the ending but it's ok.
    very creepy movie.