There is something very decadent about sitting down to watch a movie at midnight on Sunday when most people are tucked into bed dreaming of the week ahead of them. Midnight Madness at TIFF always makes me a feel like I am a bit of a badass surrounded by other like minded bass asses. If you love Horror films and you have the chance to experience a Midnight Madness do so, it is an experience not to be missed.
Last night I kicked off TIFF with Livid by French directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. Unfortunately I missed their film Inside (À l’intérieur), a Midnight Madness hit back in 2007, so Gary and I watched it earlier this week. I enjoyed Inside, with the exception of that strange little story sidestep, and was ready to be swept up in their new film. All I had heard of Livid was that it was about a possibly haunted house and dark creatures.
I fell in love with the look of this film almost from the moment it began. The gorgeous set design transformed the fairy tale house into a character itself with a strange beauty. The decayed floorboards, old books, unusual taxidermy and twisting staircases were the perfect backdrop for this dark fairy tale.
The story centers around a troubled young woman training to be an elderly care giver . Tempted by the promise of hidden treasures, she and her two friends break into a patient’s bizarre mansion with the hopes of starting better lives if they find the fortune. In true fairy tale fashion, the trespassers step through the looking glass, capturing them in a labyrinth of horrors as they are punished for their greed and misdeeds.
With that kind of premise and the dark look, this movie had my name written all over it. But, our love affair only lasted for a short while and I slowly fell out of love with Livid about half way through. I was literally on the edge of my seat one moment and then it just seemed to lose all of its tension. I still enjoyed the movie but it remains a bit of a puzzler for me. I have no doubt that many fans will adore Livid and I would recommend it to others with the caveat that it is beautiful to behold but it tells a bit too much and not quite enough.