Livid (Livide) Review

Movie: Livid (Livide)
By: Maniac E
Date: May 3, 2012

A visual treat with a darkside to it.

The french gore masters are back Julien Maury and Alecandre Bustillo impressed us with their debut feature: Inside(A l'interieur). What they serve up is a slice of the well-known vampire gothic story with a twist in their second feature. Let me be clear don't go into this movie expecting a slaughter fest because you will be disappointed in the end. But it has its gory moments so don't be afraid to watch.

Livid begins as a story about a teenager named Lucy (Chloe Coulloud) who is training as an in-house caregiver. She travels from house to house with her trainer Mrs. Wilson (Catherine Jacob). The last house of the day is a large mansion owned by Miss Jessel (Maria-Claude Pietragalla), a successful former dance instructor infamous for strict methods. Miss Jessel is bed-ridden and in a coma, the soul resident of the massive, ornate estate in disrepair. Mrs. Wilson casually reveals stories to Lucie as they tend to Miss Jessel, such as her only child Anna having been born mute and passed on many years ago, and the mysterious "treasure" which is said to be hidden somewhere in the house. This treasure is the driving factor for the first half of LIVID, which has Lucie reluctantly leading her two male friends, Ben and William (Jeremy Kapone and Felix Moati), into the Jessel estate in search of the alleged treasure. For what it's worth, this first half of LIVID is the half that works reasonably well, an atmospherically Gothic but straight-forward haunted house tale.


To be fair, and to repeat my earlier point, this is all visually stunning stuff, if not a tad generic and certainly not crucial to the story in many cases. Livid looks amazing, as does the score deem itself worthy of attention on its own merit. The issue I have with all this is that it serves little purpose to the story and, in some unclear fashion, becomes the story. Once the reality of the situation makes itself known to Lucie and the boys, the gore comes out to play and Miss Jessel exposes her true self. The nature of her "true self" and the twists involving her daughter are grounds for spoilers, but I can say the potential is there, but the execution is terribly flawed.


The visuals, the music, the setting they are all perfectly executed and shown in a manor not done that often which makes sure you keep watching. But all this eye candy and all good the good stuff cannot keep me from the mediocre script and story line. When you put everything together it turns out in a bit of a mess. The ideas the film makers had probably weren't worked out to the extent that they would make any sense in the movie. Which in the end makes this movie a blank one. It could have been, maybe I should say it should have done better. Livid sets up a great opportunity but for me they didn't succeed in making it compelling enough it unravels into a broken mess.


Livid is a movie you should sit down for and look to the smaller details after my third viewing I could see more and more details in how the movie was made, but still you can't go around the story. This is one of those movies where the story ends up being on the shabby side of it all. Maybe this movie needs some more time to mature into a real classic, maybe it should be put on the shelves a bit longer. For me the movie struck me as a movie with massive potential but ended into a deception. Again everything looks perfect and well done, the score of the movie is just mind bending. Just watch it and see if you like it, it at least deserves a change to be viewed.



Livid (Livide)


Livid (Livide)


Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury






Chloé Coulloud, Félix Moati and Jérémy Kapone