Livid


Viewed – 17 August 2012  Blu-ray

When French directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury unleashed the brutal, intense ‘Inside’ on unsuspecting horror junkies back in 2007, a new breed of extreme, bold film makers had arrived, leaving this viewer exhausted and more than a little scarred.  So any following venture by this bold directing duo was going to be a must see – although what we have finally got, is a very different piece of work than you might have expected.

Lucie (Chloe Coulloud) is a young care worker who following a visit to an old house where an elderly woman lies in a coma, discovers that this woman used to be a famed dance instructor, and is very wealthy, with rumors of a hidden treasure.  That night Lucie decides to break into the house with her boyfriend and another man, with hopes of finding the treasure – only to discover that something evil is waiting for them.

Borrowing it seems from classic Dario Argento movie Suspiria, we have re-animated ballerinas, an evil vampire, a spooky house and lots of creepy music.  Bustillo & Maury’s movie is not short of ideas, and the first half certainly pulled me in with its freaky imagery and nail-biting atmosphere.  Yet the movie it becomes, despite potential, is a sort of mish-mash of styles, part haunted house, part vampire fest, part art house movie – and its a bizarre mix that never really gels.  Shame, as when things get going it is scary and disturbing (a dead ballerina on a podium music box … shudder), but along with unconvincing performances and a tone that shifts uncomfortably from realism to dream-like fantasy, this is a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be.  On a technical basis, its a grand step up from Inside, which was often amateurish in its camera work and music … but with this material, and its scatter shot approach, the directors would be advised to work harder on their writing next time around.  Disappointing.

Verdict:  2.5 /5

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