This supernatural horror film pushes a pretense of depth with great potential but ultimately struggles to float above boring.
In search of a hidden treasure in the estate of a disabled woman, Lucie, and her crew, learn that dark secrets are anything but shiny and valuable. Let’s dig into 2011’s LIVID, directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury!
As I See It
There is a keen effort to develop the character of Lucie right from the jump.
She’s portrayed as caring, and in a short span on screen, you get the feeling that she is of high ethics. Then we slip down to the docks, where stereotypically unruly characters cavort, and Lucie enters a nice horror history easter egg in “The Slaughtered Lamb”, a pub likely named for one in John Landis’s legendary werewolf film An American Werewolf in London.
Here we get to know Lucie’s boyfriend a bit, and even though he seems more opportunist than devilish, the filmmakers use him to erase all the character-building they had just done for Lucie.
We’re off to rob an old hag with a treasure hidden on her estate as she lays invalid in bed.
Just a few hours earlier, Lucie and her co-worker were tending to the same old ballerina instructor. Lucie learns of the fabled treasure and a bit of backstory on the woman. But the motivation given for Lucie to skirt her established morals isn’t strong enough, in my opinion. Her father being hard up for money could set the stage for a valid motive, but Lucie and her dad are at such odds that the legs are cut out from beneath that like an At-At wearing high heels.
They hinted at pure fantasy with mentions of willow wisps and dreamy flashbacks.
I would say it went too far into the “artsy” territory for no good reason and was trying to be deep and filled with metaphor, but it ended up not being interesting enough.
Béatrice Dalle, who has a very brief appearance here in flashback as Lucie’s Mother, was in Gaspar Noé’s Lux Æterna as well as the anthology horror ABC’s of Death 2 (as was Chloé Coulloud). She was also in the director’s previous film Inside.
Of Gratuitous Nature
There really isn’t a point in setting a film on Halloween if you’re not going to play with it. Of course, the single little reference was enjoyable, but shoehorning the three ghouls from Halloween III in for a split-second cameo was just about the only reference to the dark holiday present.
Choé Coulloud (Lucie) dressed down well as a little hipster cutie. She’s a good actor and probably could have been utilized more fully to her potential.
Ripe for a Remake
I can’t help but believe the premise has tons of potential. An ancient, artsy vampire sect. A house with a hidden treasure. A nurse service that caters to those children of the night who have entered the late stages of their “eternal” lives.
There was an announcement for an American remake, but it never materialized.
Where to Watch
A Blu-Ray has been released, but it’s an import and region locked. You can stream it on Shudder and AMC+.