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"It's young Lucy's first day as a trainee in-house caregiver. She visits Mrs Jessel, an old woman who lies in cerebral coma, by herself, in her large desolate house. Learning by accident that Mrs Jessel, a former dance teacher of repute, supposedly possesses a treasure somewhere in the house, Lucy and friends William and Ben decide to search the house in the hope of finding it. At night, they get into the house, which reveals itself to be increasingly peculiar. Their hunt for Mrs Jessel's treasure leads them into a horrifying supernatural series of events that will change Lucy forever..." Written by
The sexy Chloé Coulloud plays Lucy, a world weary girl in her late teens troubled by the death of her mother. On the first day of her latest dead end job as a care-worker her irritating boss Wilson, played by Catherin Jacob, takes Lucy to a creepy old house and introduces her to a comatose patient named Jessel. Lucy learns that Jessel was once a renowned dance instructor who's daughter, Anna, died at a young age. Wilson hints at the family wealth and teases Lucy with rumours of treasure hidden somewhere in the mansion.
When Lucy's relays the story to dead-beat boyfriend William he persuades her and his brother Ben to accompany him to the house that night with the aim of finding the treasure.
Livid is both haunting and horrific in equal measure. Scenes are dimly lit, taking place almost exclusively at night and where the only source of light is a torch or flickering bulb. The Gothic mansion is a perfect set piece for the unfolding treasure hunt and much of the imagery presented within the peeling facade of its ancient walls will linger in your memory long after the film is finished. The photogenic Coulloud is perfect as the dazed female protagonist, her sultry eyes, permanent pout and expressive yet somehow dormant features will have your attention in every one of her scenes.
The first 80% of the movie is a wonderful addition to the haunted house genre, featuring some of the creepiest moments I've seen in a film of this type in a long time. Unfortunately, the story loses its way toward the end, uncertain how and where to finish, and wraps up with a series of ambiguous metaphors before spiralling out of control into full fairytale mode and throwing all previous suspension of disbelief down the can.
Despite this disappointment, the majority is well worth a watch, guaranteed to give you chills and have you on the edge of your seat. It's hard to inject this kind of blanket horror into a film and for the effort and achievement Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury deserve full credit. More, however, should definitely have been invested in a conclusion more befitting the rest of the film.
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