Among the Living (Aux Yeux Des Vivants) 2014

Let’s face it skipping school on the last day of term is rarely a smart thing to do in a horror movie, but Victor (Theo Fernandez) and his pals Tom and Dan aren’t content with just playing a bit of hookey. Oh no they set light to barn and then go exploring the derelict Blackwoods Film studio lot. Future isn’t looking too promising lads is it?

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Oh whatever it is its a a bad idea kids

As luck would have it they aren’t the only folks there, because traumatised ex-soldier Isaac (Francis Renaud) and his son Klarence (Fabien Jegadez) are holed up in the studio basement along with Klarence’s pickled fetus of a brother and their latest bound kidnap victim. Worse than that, when Isaac was in the army he was subjected to experimental nerve gasses which resulted in baby Klarence being just a bit big, scary and psychopathicly violent for the average six year old.

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Oh and Klarence likes wearing a clown mask, it’s not going to end well is it?

Fortunately the kids get out Blackwood alive, only Victor has dropped a flyer about Salem, his sister’s lost cat, and oh dear it has Victor’s address printed on it.

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A hockey stick are you serious?

Among the Living is a little bit Stand by Me with a serious dose of mutant slasher home invasion to polish things off. Its pretty violent, but the violence is successfully managed through deft editing, lighting, camera and sound work to build suspense and there are more than enough jump scares to satisfy most suspense junkies. It’s very nicely acted and directed (directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury went on to helm Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel Leatherface) and benefits from a distinct lack of the hysterical scream queens and moronic jocks. Vive La France!

A gory Gallic fright fest I give  Among the Living a 666/666

Among the Living, in French with English subtitles, is out now in the UK on DVD price £14.99

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