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Livid - Good yet flawed.
on 18 February 2013
Inside was easily one of the best horror movies of the last decade. It was brutal, uncompromising and had a wicked story. 4 years later the directing duo has finally unleashed their next project and what we get is a disappointing and average haunted house movie. Lucy is a traveling in-house caregiver in training. It's her first day on the job and one of the patients, Ms. Jessel is a 100+ yr old lady that's virtually a vegetable. She has a large creepy looking mansion which is supposedly housing an undisclosed treasure. That same night, she and her boyfriend William, and his brother Ben, break into the house looking for the hidden treasure. They eventually do find the treasure, along with a whole lot of supernatural madness.
The storyline which is like a twisted supernatural version of The People Under The Stairs was actually pretty cool. The house itself was really nice and had an awesome gothic look and the setting had the makings of an awesome ghost movie. Unfortunately the movie was severely flawed. First off I don't mind a slow burn, but the movie took forever to get to the house and for all the weird supernatural stuff to happen. If it was character development I wouldn't mind but all we get to learn about the main lead is that she has two different colored eyes, and the other two guys we learn virtually nothing about except that one of them is a fisherman.
For a near perfect setting it wasn't that scary. I'm not sure if it was the musical cues or the way it was shot, but the vibe of the movie wasn't nearly creepy enough. Take for the example the first death of the movie was kind of brutal in theory but the way it looked was bland and soulless. Very little of the movie was as intense as it should have been. The tension just wasn't there. Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's brutal gore-shocker "Inside" is IMO one of the greatest and cruelest horror movies ever made, however the directors second outing "Livide" is a mess, but an enjoyable mess and it was beautifully shot.
Parts of the story don't make sense, certain scenes are quite confusing and the ending is weird - nevertheless, it's not as bad as some of these other reviewers are saying. The camera work and cinematography are fantastic, the brooding soundtrack is terrifically composed, and the editing is simply excellent although the characters weren't developed well, the female lead was a really good actress.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's Livid arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Studio Canal. Despite the fact that large parts of the film are very dark, detail and clarity are excellent. There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French LPCM 2.0. For the record, Studio Canal have provided imposed English subtitles for the main feature. They split the image frame and the black bar below it and the lossless 5.1 track is excellent. As for the extra features, we have a 20 minute behind the scenes, interview with cast and crew and a trailer. Livid draws you into its horror and even though it is a little uneven, it is still a film worth watching for fans of French horror films, just don't expect it to be like Inside.