31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 4: Livide (2011)

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-20h13m08s585Another day, another spooky story about three kids breaking into a creepy old person’s house.

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Young carer Lucy (Chloe Culloud, the gallic, heterochromic Scarlett Johansson) is being trained by an older woman, Nurse Wilson (the delightfully po-faced Catherine Jacob) at a comatose patient’s mansion. She tells her boyfriend and friend about the rumours of a hidden fortune in the house, the former of whom points out how this completely unsubstantiated treasure can buy them out of their raggedy lots in life. Reluctantly, Lucy agrees.

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Aside from that initial plot setup, French chiller Livide is worlds away from this year’s well-deserved critical darling Don’t Breathe.  While the latter is a (literally breathtaking – our audience inadvertently played along with the thieves and held their breath for silence) straight-up home invasion thriller, Livide soon fractures into ghostly, surreal, and oddly beautiful vignettes of gothic and bloody imagery.

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The less spoilt the better, but the bursts of gore and fairytale mythos layered on top of some already haunting atmosphere are a nice break from what was set up to look like a bog-standard slasher film. It might end up feeling like a movie of two uneven halves, but it’s all the more pleasantly jarring for it.

3.9/5

[I got back from Paris that evening, so from here on in, probably less French movies]

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