Among the Living (2014) | A surprising and disturbing French indie horror with a Stand By Me vibe

Among the Living (2014)

Brooding bad boy Tom (Zacharie Chasseriaud), nerdy Dan (Damien Ferdel), and troubled outsider Victor (Theo Fernandez) skip detention on the last day of school to explore an abandoned film studio lot. But after witnessing a distraught woman being kidnapped, they alert the police, who refuse to believe their story. But as the boys return to their homes, the killer sets out to silence them, one by one…

Among the Living (2014)

Reviewers have called this French indie horror ‘Wonderfully disturbing’ and ‘a blend of ‘Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes imagery, with the likes of ET’ and they’re on the right track. But I think it’s more like Stand By Me meets Hooper’s Funhouse with some It’s Alive in its DNA.

Among the Living (aka Aux yeux des vivants) isn’t your standard slasher, being as surprising as it is disturbing, but with a real backwoods American vibe that sets it apart from most Euro-made horrors. It also features some knockout performances from the three young leads, who bring real grit and emotion to their characters, who all have their crosses to bear within their dysfunctional families. Tom has an abusive alcoholic father to contend with; Dan’s middle-class parents have little time for him; and Victor is still unsure about his mother’s new partner. And families are at the dark heart of this horror, which puts an inventive twist on why the killer is being tasked with taking down these youngsters.

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Watch out for Beatrice Dalle (aka Betty Blue, You And the Night) in a graphic, OTT opening cameo and a truly frightening scene involving children’s plush toys. Next up for writer/directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo is the new Texas Chain Saw prequel, Leatherface. Let’s hope that’s just as inventive…

Among the Living is out on DVD in the UK from Metrodome.


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on March 7, 2016, in Horror, Must See, Must-See, Survival Thriller, World Cinema and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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