Livid (2011)

livide-2011

Inside is probably my favourite horror movie from the past ten years or so which is why I’ve been eagerly anticipating watching Livid and hastily putting it off.

Now this is a much different movie to Inside and I love that the filmmakers went in a new direction to show off a different shade. It’s much more of a dark fantasy film than balls-to-the-wall horror. By no means am I the only viewer to note similarities to the work of Guillermo del Toro but it does exist in the same monster-sympathetic fairy tale universe that films like Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone unfold in. It’s a very dark film but also poetic and unusual.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Livid is the way it slowly turns into a (SPOILER ALERT) vampire movie and avoids practically all of the traditional elements that define a vampire movie. The design is beautiful and the moments of grand guignol sometimes evoke renaissance paintings. That being said, the logic behind a lot of the more fantastical elements are questionable and feel like they’re in service of the film’s aesthetic rather than the story and mythology. The characters become a bit of a blur early on and you soon realise that the only reason you’re sticking with the film is to see how far the filmmakers are going to take you and not necessarily because you give a shit about the people on screen. But no matter, that’s more than can be said of a lot of horror films.

Maybe if Inside hadn’t been such a bracing and unrelenting experience I would see Livid in a much kinder light, or maybe I’d see it in a much harsher one? I know what these filmmakers are capable of and Livid reveals new colour to their palette. It’s not essential viewing like Inside but I think anyone who stumbles upon this movie will find things to get off on.

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