Livid (film)

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Livid Poster.jpg
French theatrical poster
Directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo
Produced by Verane Frediani
Franck Ribiere
Written by Alexandre Bustillo
Julien Maury
Starring Catherine Jacob
Marie-Claude Pietragalla
Chloe Coulloud
Chloe Marcq
Music by Raphaël Gesqua
Cinematography Laurent Bares
Edited by Baxter
Distributed by La Fabrique 2
Release date
  • 7 December 2011 (2011-12-07) (France)
Running time
93 minutes
Country France
Language French

Livid (French: Livide) is a 2011 French supernatural horror film written and directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. It is their follow-up to the horror film Inside.


Lucy is a young woman who starts her practical training as an at-home nurse. She is trained by an older lady, Mrs. Wilson. The last patient on their rounds lives in an old, remote mansion. Lucy enters the mansion, which is filled with stuffed animals, and finds Mrs. Wilson at the bed of the patient, Mrs. Deborah Jessel. Mrs. Wilson tells her that Jessel was once a prominent ballet teacher, but is now bedridden and in a coma. There is a rumor that Mrs. Jessel has a treasure of gold and jewels located somewhere on the property. After her first day on the job, Lucy tells her boyfriend, Will, about the treasure. Lucy, Will, and Will's brother Ben decide to hunt for the treasure.

They enter the basement of the house through a window. In a room filled with stuffed animals gathered around a tea table, they find a single locked door. Lucy correctly suspects that a key worn by Jessel is the key to this door. Inside, they find a white sheet covering what looks like a stuffed girl. Lucy suggests that this is the corpse of Jessel's mute daughter Anna, still dressed in a ballerina outfit. Lucy twists the key on the pedestal the corpse is standing on, and the corpse starts spinning slowly with music playing, like a ballerina on a music box.

They hear noises from the floor above and try to flee the house, but the window through which they entered is now secured by iron bars. While trying to find an exit, they become separated. Ben finds himself in an operating room with no door and no idea how he got there. He is killed by veiled ballerinas who appear out of nowhere.

Lucy sees Mrs. Jessel sitting at what was once Anna's tea party table. There is a flashback demonstrating that Mrs Jessel was a very strict ballet teacher: a girl leaves the ballet class and Jessel later finds her dead in Anna's room; Anna is bent over the girl, drinking her blood. It is revealed that the Jessels are vampires.

Will is attacked by Ben, who is now a vampire. Will stabs Ben with a pair of scissors, but Mrs. Jessel attacks and kills him. Lucy discovers that Anna is not dead. Anna attempts to drink Lucy's blood but Lucy pushes her away. Mrs. Wilson appears, attacks and sedates Lucy.

While Wilson watches, Mrs. Jessel implants the pupae of a moth into the throats of Lucy and Anna; this is a ritual to exchange their souls. Jessel believes that she has been successful when Lucy awakes and her eye color has changed. Jessel orders Lucy to dance, but Lucy does not respond. Wilson attempts to punish her, but Anna stabs her with scissors and then turns on Jessel. Both women fall to the floor. Although bleeding heavily, Jessel tries to bite Lucy. Anna whips her mother until she releases Lucy, and the two girls throw Jessel off a third floor balcony.

Anna and Lucy escape from the mansion and walk along a seaside cliff holding hands. Anna leans over the cliff, but she does not fall. Instead she flies into the sky. Her scars disappear and Lucy watches her float away.


Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo

The film went into production in 2009.[1] It was initially intended to be Bustillo and Maury's English-language debut and shot in the United Kingdom but they moved to a lower-budget French production after they found that they were losing creative control over their story.[2] A promo was shown at the American Film Market. The film was described[who?] as being more of a fantasy film than their previous film; "If Inside was meant to play as horror taken from fact then Livid plays as horror taken from fairy tale, the Grimm kind with all the bloody bits left in."[3]



Livid was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2011.[4] On October 12, the film was shown at the Sitges Film Festival. Marc Thiébault won the award for Best Production Design at the festival for his work in Livid.[5] The film opened in France on December 7, 2011.[6]


Variety compared the film unfavorably to the director's previous film Inside, stating that "the pic is so eager to go over the top that, in the end, it doesn't make much sense."[7] Screen Daily gave a positive review of the film, comparing it to the works of Guillermo del Toro and Dario Argento.[8] The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, stating that it was neither "gory nor eerie enough to function as veritable horror fare".[6]

Horror magazine Fangoria gave the film a positive review of three out of four, stating that the film's "final moments are a bit stretched and its end is sillier than probably intended. It’s imperfect, yes, but entirely worth loving; likely and hopefully appreciated and adored over time."[9]


An English-language remake for the film was written by David Birke [10] and was to be directed by Nicholas McCarthy, but was not made.[11]


  1. ^ Brown, Todd. "Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo are Livid". Twitch. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ "From the Vault: 'Livide' Interview with Julien Maury". Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ Brown, Todd (November 4, 2010). "AFM 2010: First Livid Promo on Display". Twitch. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ " - 2011 films -- Livid". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ "2011 Awards: Red State, best motion picture". Sitges Film Festival. October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Mintzer, Jordan (December 13, 2012). "Livid (Livide): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Nelson, Rob (September 17, 2011). "Livid". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ D'arcy, David (September 13, 2011). "Livid: Review: Screen". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel (September 25, 2011). ""Livid" (Fantastic Fest Review)". Fangoria. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 5, 2012). "French Fright Film 'Livid' Getting English Language Remake". Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Permanent Midnight: NBD, It's Just Naya Rivera, Ashley Rickards, and Some Good Old-Fashioned Satanism". Retrieved 11 February 2015. 

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