Aux yeux des vivants [Among the Living] (2014)

Aux yeux des vivants
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Théo Fernandez, Zacharie Chasseriaud, Damien Ferdel, Anne Marivin, Fabien Jegoudez, Nicolas Giraud, Francis Renaud, Béatrice Dalle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Victor (Théo Fernandez), Tom (Zacharie Chasseriaud) and Dan (Damien Ferdel) decide to skip school and instead spend the day outside, smoking awkwardly, talking and getting up to no good. After burning down a farmer’s barn, they end up at the abandoned Blackwoods Film Studios. But they aren’t alon there: They stumble on a masked man who has a woman locked in his trunk. But that is only the beginning of all of their troubles.

Among the Living is an interesting mix of adventure movies like The Goonies or Explorers and outright horror film. On paper, this sounds intriguing. But the reality is too uneven to really enjoy.

auxyeuxdesvivants

Fitting for the two genres Among the Living tries to combine, the film has two beginnings, one for each genre and both of which I liked a lot. But those two parts never really came together for me, so the film felt disjointed to the very last scene.

But that wasn’t the film’s only problem. The pacing was equally uneven, especially when the dying starts. [SPOILERS] Two of the boys are dispatched within minutes, while the killing, or rather the attempt of killing, the third boy was an entire thing that took up most of the last third. [/SPOILERS] And sometimes the protagonists are so incredibly stupid, you barely have words for it. Like, how can you not know how to open your own washing machine?

auxyeuxdesvivants1But the film has its strengths, too. I liked the ending that surprised me [SPOILERS] because it was so goddamn depressing. [/SPOILERS] I loved the way Klarence (Fabien Jegoudez) moved. But hands down the best thing about it was the soundtrack. It was beautiful and really managed to evoke that nostalgic goonies feeling the film paid tribute to. (Composer Raphaël Gesqua already did great work on Livide, but he outdid himself here.)

All of those good things weren’t enough though to keep me invested in the film or in the boys, though. Instead it just leaves me emphatically shrugging my shoulders.

auxyeuxdesvivants2Summarizing: Not my thing.

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