Lucie is a trainee caregiver being showed around the different homes she's later to be working at, when they visit an old, spooky house where Mrs. Jessel lives. She's a rich woman who is in a coma, and the caregiver tells Lucie about a supposed treasure hidden somewhere in the house. When Lucie is finally sick of her father having a new girlfriend so soon after the death of her mother, she decides that she needs a change in her life. She and her boyfriend, along with a friend of theirs, break into Mrs. Jessel's house, and are shocked when they discover what the treasure actually is.
At times it feels like Film Bizarro is the only place not hailing "Martyrs", "Inside", "Haute Tension" and similar French movies as being the best movies ever made. Personally I can only really muster up any care for "Inside", which is a pretty decent home invasion movie. So that's why I was genuinely interested in watching "Livide", the new movie by the people behind "Inside". Obviously going for a more fantasy style I watched it with my girlfriend, knowing that odds are that she could've enjoyed the creativity that seemed to be present here. Now that we've watched it, I have to pun it. And pun it hard! Yes, after having seen this... I am livid!
Okay, that I'm livid was an exaggeration, but I was rather disappointed. It starts out solid, with a very standard teenage curiousity plot. Young Lucie is on her first day as a trainee to be a caregiver, and she's shown the houses that she will be visiting. Mostly older, lonely people. The last house that day is Mrs. Jessel's - a great, old house that Lucie and other kids used to be scared of growing up. Mrs. Jessel is in a coma. She used to be a ballet instructor/teacher, and teached children from home. The only reason Mrs. Jessel isn't put in a hospital is because she's filthy rich, and she wanted to die at home. Rich people get their ways! Lucie is also told about a secret treasure somewhere in the house. A treasure that Lucie, her boyfriend and a doofus friend of theirs, will try to get their hands on later. At home, Lucie feels like shit. Her mother died a couple of months back, and her father is now talking about his new girlfriend moving in. Lucie wants to get away from there and sees the treasure as a secure way out.
So they break into the house on night, and.. this is where it will slowly, but very surely, turn into a shitty, stupid, annoying movie. It was actually quite interesting still when they found the treasure and realize what it is. This plot was going in a rather creepy direction and I was quite excited. Then they ignore any kind of logic and care for the audience (by simply ignoring telling us certain stuff in time) and gets more and more over-the-top. They threw in a ton of things in the movie that seemed to be placed there just to be strange and scary. Sometimes even for just one scene, and then we don't focus on that again. It's ridiculous. Don't fill your movie with shit if you're not gonna follow up on it! I'm sure some of the most stupid scenes actually HAS a meaning, trying to be artistic about it, but just fail at it for just throwing it out there randomly. It became no more impressive than movies like "Jeepers Creepers" (which was slightly more entertaining)or "Darkness Falls".
The only thing I can comment very positively on is the effects and production values. Obviously they were excellent, and I'd expect nothing else. Other than the bruises/cracks in the daughter's head, I don't think there was anything bad about the effects. When they're present they're creepy and often gory, and that's saved this from being a complete waste of time. It would've been way more annoying had it been poorly made. The majority of the set design and visual effects looked good.
Trust me, it's often easier to write negative reviews, and I could go on about this one. I am trying to keep it spoiler-free because I know a lot of people will still watch this (based on most people loving the other French movies, that I dislike) even after reading my review. "Livide", to me, was extremely stupid and made with little respect to the viewer. Being weird and hard to understand is one thing, but I am not impressed when all they do is skip valuable parts of details. It made several scenes in here feel dumb, and even when it's visually good I disliked it. It's a fantasy, but that doesn't mean that you can do just anything. "Livide" is quite forgettable, and I can't rank it higher than I would rank several equally bad, albeit poorer made, horror movies from the early 2000's. I write this knowing you've already watched it, or will in the near future.