FANTASTIC FEST 2011
By Don Simpson | October 1, 2011
Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writers: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Starring: Chloé Marcq, Félix Moati, Jérémy Kapone, Chloé Coulloud, Marie-Claude Pietragalla
Upon entering the Fantastic Fest day seven screening of Livid, I was beginning to worry that I was becoming too desensitized to violence. Nothing thus far at FF 2011 had revolted me as much as previous years’ screenings had. Luckily, I could rely upon writer-directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury to right that wrong.
The plot is extremely simple. During Anna’s (Chloé Marcq) first day at work as a home healthcare provider, she tags along with an old pro, Wilson (Catherine Jacob). Their rounds take them to a scary old mansion in which Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla) is rotting away in a coma. Wilson happens to mention that the old hag has a treasure hidden in the mansion, and Anna promptly passes that information along to William (Félix Moati) and Ben (Jérémy Kapone).
Being that they are all in financially dire straits, that very same night the three friends find themselves creeping around Jessel’s house in search of her treasure. As is usually the case in horror flicks, greed is not rewarded; violence ensues and Anna, William and Ben are justly punished.
A giallo-infused Grimm’s fairytale on crack, Livid pummels the audience’s senses with ridiculously gruesome violence. As long as you are willing to brush off the oh so pointless plot, the delectable eye candy of Bustillo and Maury’s follow-up to Inside makes it one of the most gorgeous horror films not directed by Dario Argento. Sure, I could do without watching someone having their head ripped apart by their jaw; but I credit that scene for being an unpleasant reminder that I have indeed not become too desensitized to violence.