Following on from their SUPERB horror movie Inside, writer-directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury provide fans with yet another slice of near-perfect modern horror. Less visceral, in some ways, and more fantastical than Inside, Livide is as beautiful as it is offbeat and scary. It's a fairytale dripping with blood, something more along the lines of Cronos or Trick 'r Treat than the other French horror movies of recent years (Martyrs, Frontier(s), etc.).
The film begins with young Lucie (Chloe Coulloud) being picked up and taken along to begin her training as an at-home care nurse. Her trainer is Mrs. Wilson (Catherine Jacob). Mrs. Wilson notices that Lucie has two different coloured eyes and explains to her what some people think that means (basically, two different souls in one body). All goes pretty well until they get to the house of Mrs. Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla). Mrs. Wilson orders Lucie to stay in the car and heads in on her own. After some time in the car, Lucie follows. She finds Mrs. Jessel in a comatose state and Mrs. Wilson doing the little she has to do for her. Mrs. Wilson explains that there have been rumours for a long time that Mrs. Jessel has some great treasure hidden in the house. She's searched everywhere and has been unable to find it. At the end of her day, Lucie goes to meet her boyfriend (Will, played by Felix Moati) and tells him about the Jessel house, which leads them to head out with Will's brother (Ben, played by Jeremy Kapone) to find the treasure for themselves. Of course, they end up finding more than they bargained for.
Going from the description above, you may think that Livide is very standard stuff and you'd be right, up to a point. It really starts getting more and more interesting in the second half, as the main characters investigate the house and start to discover mysterious and interesting secrets inside its walls.
The cast all do a good job, especially Chloe Coulloud in the main role, but this is a film all about atmosphere and style and macabre beauty, all of which it has in abundance. Bustillo and Maury don't deliver anything new to the table when it comes to dialogue or characterisation of the three young ones breaking and entering, but they certainly give viewers something quite unusual when it comes to the back-story that's eventually revealed and the elements that all come together during the third act and that's what you'll remember after the credits have rolled.
I can't wait to see the next movie that Bustillo and Maury deliver, they are certainly people that horror fans can rely upon to deliver something interesting, whether you love or hate the end result.