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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2017
Surprisingly better than expected. And I am quite "picky" (I enjoyed "Calvaire", "Possession" (by Zulawski), "Funny games" (the original), "Rosemary's baby").
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on 4 August 2017
Scary little fairy tale.
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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.
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on 23 June 2017
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.
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on 21 February 2013
Weird mix of gory horror and Jean-Pierre Jeunet style fantasy/whimsy about a group of young people who decide to sneak into a large house where one of their friends works as a caretaker for the only occupant, a comatose old woman who has no next of kin. They figure if they steal a few things the old woman will never notice and that's she's never going to recover anyway. Unfortunately for them the old woman isn't as harmless as she seems. This is fun but very strange and at times feels like two different movies somewhat awkwardly stitched together.
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on 30 July 2012
I saw this film as part of the Glasgow Film Festival at FrightFest, I had already been to see four films that day and was pretty worn out. It was midnight and I had one film left to go and see - Livid. I had no idea what I was to expect or what it was about but I decided seeing as I'd already paid for the ticket, I may as well go and see it.

I'm so glad I did.

This film starts off with an interesting plot and just gets better. Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury have done it again with Livid. "Inside" was a breath-taking start to their careers and this is another good step forward. It is a strange and dark film with an ending that is a little on the wierd side but that's what I find so compelling about it.

The tension and visuals created in this film are out of this world, I loved every minute of it and it stayed with me for days after seeing it.

Keep an open mind, turn out the lights and turn up the volume.
Immerse yourself in Livid and you will not be disappointed.

4/5 stars, a star is deducted for the ultimately confusing and out of the blue ending but I still think it is one of the best horror films I have seen.
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on 8 March 2014
Yes, you read correctly. The Amazon streaming version of the film lacks a language track of any kind, meaning you are presented with a film where everyone is apparently mute! The music and sound effects for the film are present though. Even watching the film with subtitles doesn't make up for the lack of audio for the dialogue. You still need to hear the voices to get a sense of the emotions of the actors in any given scene.
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on 20 August 2012
Very different from Alexandre Bustillos' 2007 horror debut 'Inside'(no bloody car crashes in this one), Livid is much more laid-back giallo type horror, with touches of Argento, and maybe a little Bava thrown in for good measure.
Care-worker Lucie discovers that one of her elderly patients may have a stash of treasure hidden in her large mansion.She reluctantly accompanies her ex-con boyfriend and her brother as they break in one night to see if the stash is really there.
Of course all is not what it seems and the encounters that follow are beautifully horrific and eerily evocative.
Livid is,despite the touches of gore,pleasing on the eye and lovingly photographed (particularly the flash-back scenes).
As far as the plot is concerned,this is one of those films where the less you know the more you will get out of it.
The only negative thing was the conclusion-I found it a little confusing and unsatisfying.
Despite it's ending, this is a superior psycological movie and I would recommend it to any serious fan of Euro-horror.

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on 27 April 2014
It is almost painful for me to give this film 3 stars, as I am such a huge fan of the directors (who brought us the absolutely outstanding "Inside", which I reviewed a while back and is easily one of the greatest horror films I have ever seen).

So, as not to be too hasty, I have gone back to this film recently to see if it had grown on me at all, but it seems each time I watch it, I notice the same problems. It's not that I'm comparing it to "Inside", as that would be unfair. You can't expect lightening to strike the same place twice and if anything, I was thrilled that they had taken an entirely different direction with this movie. The premise I thought was excellent and with the talent of the directors, seemed even more promising.

It's not the story that's the problem however, it's the execution of the story.

It all starts very well, I really love the opening shots and the score is worth mentioning also (it remains excellent throughout the film). I thought the introductory scenes with Lucy on her first day as a care worker were great as well, and even thought they carried a valuable message about the way in which we treat the elderly. The character of Deborah Jessen is excellent, mysterious and somehow threatening even though she is in a coma. Very intriguing stuff indeed. But once the story is established and the lead characters enter the house, that's where it unravels a little bit for me.

If I could summon up the film in one word, it would be "muddled". There are SO many things that happen without explanation, glimpses of things that don't even apply to the story, it gets a bit frustrating after a while. I'm fully aware that they wanted to go in a more fantastical direction with this movie, and have even said they think of Livid as "an adult fairy-tale", but a little more restraint would of been welcome in my opinion.

I appreciate that a certain degree of logic must be waivered, to allow for more creativity and imagination. In some instances, this can really work, when a director just "goes with the flow" and films an idea as soon as it's conceived, without stopping to think if it makes sense or applies to the narrative. The Japanese director Takashi Miike shoots a lot of his movies this way, with some fantastic results (check out "Ichi The Killer", which frequently blends reality with surrealism and has loads of "wtf" moments that somehow work). But I don't think it works in this film, Livid would benefit from a more focused and structured narrative in my opinion.

Too many things happen in the house, you are bombarded with so many strange things that it's hard to take anything in. There's the stuffed-animal tea party, a zombie ballerina that's been turned into a living music-box, a secret room inside a mirror, babies in jars, killer children, flashback scenes which suggest our zombie ballerina is actually a vampire robot??! Let's not forget that the house seems to be suspended mid-air in another dimension at night!!! I mean, come on, you've got to hit the brakes somewhere!! All these ideas may be cool-sounding on paper, but gradually they just overwhelm the story and everything becomes "muddled", as I said earlier.

The film can still be enjoyed on a purely visual level, as there are some gorgeous shots (I'm particularly fond of the outdoor scene where Anna's dress is stained with blood). A very distinctive and "European" style and a very liberal use of colour makes this film very pleasing on the eye (a nod to Argento's "Suspiria", which also inspired some aspects of the story as well). The performances are all bang-on (which is kind of a given with French cinema, it seems) and as I mentioned earlier, the score is sublime, being equally fantastical and creepy.

So, Livid ends up being kind of a mixed-bag for me. It does entertain and it's certainly not a bad movie by any means, but I can't help but feel that with a little more focus and restraint, this could of been every bit as good as "Inside".

Let's hope their next movie "Among The Living", marks a return to form for the horror duo (it's out sometime this year I think, you can find the trailer online).
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on 18 October 2014
I really can't comment on the film, this is for anyone that is thinking of watching it on the normally excellent Prime streaming video. The video quality is superb, as is the soundtrack. What a pity that there is no air in the world they live in to help transmit the sound of their voices. They don't seem to have noticed though, as they continue to go about life quite normally from what I can tell, oblivious to the fact that nothing can be heard past their moving lips.
I realize the original isn't in English, and that it's subtitled, but even though I wouldn't understand all of it (some though), not hearing voices when I see lips moving is a deal breaker. It wouldn't matter if they spoke a language I had never heard, I still need to hear their voices while reading the subtitles.
I can't watch any more than the few minutes I've seen so far, the lack of vocals is frustratingly distracting, like watching an old silent movie... only those knew there was no vocal so made up for lack of such in other ways.

If you don't care about whether or not you can hear sound when people talk, then by all means give it a try, otherwise, save yourself a few minutes and find another movie.
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