The Blood of Ballerinas

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury (Inside ’07) & starring Chloé Coulloud as Lucie Klavel, Félix Moati as William & Jérémy Kapone as Ben. Also stars Catherine Jacob as Catherine Wilson, Marie-Claude Pietragalla as Deborah Jessel, Chloé Marcq as Anna & Béatrice Dalle (Inside ’07) as La mère de Lucie.

French horror was at the top of its game in 2007/2008 with three films that took the genre to new heights of viciousness; Inside, Martyrs & Frontier(s). Like many people I imagine, I was attracted to this film based on how much I love the film Inside. I thought I’d start off by saying, this is nothing like Inside, neither in story nor in ferocity (what is?). But don’t let that put you off, just go in with an open mind and see what you make of it.

Lucie, a girl with heterochromia iridis, starts work as a caregiver for the elderly. One of the patients she meets is Deborah Jessel, a once famous dance teacher who has been in a coma for years. She finds out off Catherine Jacob (Lucie’s mentor) that Jessel is very rich and is supposed to possess a hidden treasure, possibly located somewhere in her huge isolated house. Lucie, not as nice as she first appears, her boyfriend William and friend Ben decide to break in at night and help themselves so to speak. They have no idea what horrors await them.

The cinematography throughout Livid is exquisite. The soundtrack is superb. This film has real atmosphere. I found it thoroughly engrossing. All the actors give fine performances so there certainly is no problem there. The story is quite simple, the three main characters (Lucie, William & Ben) ‘explore’ the house, which is wonderfully realised as a truly nightmarish place, and very strange things happen to them. A lot of imagination went into this film and it’s delivered beautifully in my opinion, the flashback section an hour or so in is fantastic, the development of the story, to its conclusion, likewise. The effects are stunning. The effects compliment the delivery of the story. It’s nicely gory in places.

Not sure what else to say other than the more times I watch Livid the better it gets. I’ve read some pretty harsh reviews and I’m struggling to accept the criticisms on offer. I think you’ll either love it or you won’t, and while that may well be a weak note on which to end this review I can only attempt to tell the truth and the truth is, it is a remarkable piece of work, in my opinion.

I love it.