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Topic: livid

Fantastic Fest: 'Livid'

It may French-fry your mind.

Writers/directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury finally follow up their 2007 hit, "Inside," with another French horror film in "Livid." While not a sophomore slump, it doesn't pay off on their debut's promise. Most of that is because the new movie makes so little sense.

On one hand, that's good, because you're not quite sure what's going to happen next. On the other hand, when stuff does happen, you may ask yourself, "Qu'est-ce?"

Appealing young actress Chloé Coulloud is Lucie, a new home-care nurse being trained by a jaded veteran of elderly diaper-changing (Catherine Jacob, "Who Killed Bambi?"). On day one, the most memorable stop is that of the Jessel mansion, where a 100-year-old lives in a vegetative state by herself (credibility alert!) on the top floor. The pro tells the newbie of a rumored treasure somewhere within the massive estate.

After sharing this news with her frustrated boyfriend, Lucie find herself as part of a trio breaking into the place amid the witching hour to hunt for the riches. They find something else. If a senior citizen in an oxygen mask is the stuff of your nightmares, prepare to soil your drawers.

From there, the story unfolds in a manner audiences may not expect, but "Livid" becomes less lucid. The nonsense speeds up as the pacing slows to a near-crawl. I'm all for acts of the supernatural, but not without some context as to what is occurring before our eyes. Bustillo and Maury are unclear, perhaps in an attempt to be arty. The team pulls off some outstanding visuals, but ghost stories cannot work on those alone.

The title "Livid" has no proper connection to the movie's events; it's as if someone wanted a word that sounded like "Insidious." Now that's a flick that yielded fright while containing all other necessary ingredients. As for "Livid," let's chalk it up as a somewhat noble misfire. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 09.24.2011 2 years ago
at 02:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
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