02 October 2014

AMONG THE LIVING [/Slash Filmfestival 2014]

AMONG THE LIVING

Original Title:
Aux Yeux des Vivants

France, 2014
Directors: Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo

8/10








It's not a secret that I'm a huge fan of French horror inovators Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo, the masterminds behind the two insanely awesome movies "Inside" (Review here) and "Livid" (Review here). Their third and latest full length feature "Among the Living" may be not as great as its predecessors, but it's still an excellent piece of Frenchploitation, radically different from their previous works, chilling, thrilling and violent at the very same time.

The movie is an impressive homage to teenager-aimed coming-of-age of the 80s like "Stand By Me" or "Explorers", as well as to the gritty American horror cinema of the 70s, like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "The Hills Have Eyes" (and maybe a hint of "Grapes of Death"-like dread), following three teenage boys who decide to skip school in order to explore an abandoned film studio lot (called "Blackwoods Studios"), not knowing that a disfigured masked killer is roaming the lot...


A movie that starts out with experimental chemical warfare, over-the-top gore and a pregnant(!) Béatrice Dalle, and ends up with a mutant monstrosity wearing clown masks and killing children just can't be bad :) Aside from a slight amount of flaws (too many characters making too many stupid decisions), Maury and Bustillo manage to rock the south west of France with a terrific fright-fest, packed with nightmarish images and vivid colours, scary grimaces and terrifying kills, tense, gripping and suspenseful as hell.

The basic scenario seems to be rather predictable, but the screenplay is clever enough to keep you on the edge of the seat, and to surprise you with unexpected plot twists and shocking revelations. The entire cast is excellent, the characters are all highly believable, Antoine Sanier's lively cinematography gives the movie a striking look, perfectly accompanied by the awesome score of Raphaël Gesqua ("Livid"), a fabulous mix of Spielbergian music and eerie whistles. Highlights: the creepy clown masks 'buried' in a pile of stuffed animals, the killer's bizarre-looking genitals, and a disturbing killing method that gives the phrase "put one's foot in one's mouth" a completely new meaning!

An excellent little shocker, best enjoyed among a crowd of French horror enthusiasts.

8 comments:

  1. I was drawn in by the cover art, and I do love french films, but then this happened....

    "the killer's bizarre-looking genitals"

    O.o

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to see this! The most bizarre genitals in movie history =)

      Delete
  2. I'm with Winter Moon here, "Bizzare-Looking genitals?"

    ...is...is it as bad as the chicken skin vagina cut from that Jennifer episode from Masters of Horror?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I can't really describe it. It looks like a deformed dick growing out of a deformed vagina, or something like that...

      Delete
  3. I don't know any French horror enthusiasts....I'm still going to watch this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, you don't know Jean Rollin, Alexandre Aja, Pascal Laugier? What?

      Delete
    2. I know French filmmakers - but your last line said the movie is best enjoyed among a group of French film enthusiasts - and I don't know any to watch the movie among.

      Delete

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