Aux yeux des vivants ("Among the Living")
Official selection: SXSW 2014
Official selection: Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films 2014
Official selection: Absurde Seance 2014
“A truly horrifying romp... one of the few real horror experiences of today” - Zach Gayne, TWITCHFILM
The first day of summer. The last day of school. The day that best friends Daniel, Tom and Victor decided to skip their last class (and the detention they collectedly incurred) to wander the French countryside in search of rowdy, pre-teen mischief. It leads them to Blackwood Studios, a local abandoned movie lot filled with pirate ships, Old West towns and modern American main streets. It also leads them to the home of a father-and-son pair of backwoods killers and a sunny summer day of complete terror, which stretches out well into the evening. No place is safe — not even home. Especially not home.
Leave it to Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (INSIDE, LIVID) to rework STAND BY ME as the horror film Stephen King always knew it could be. AMONG THE LIVING also suggests what would have happened if Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper collaborated on THE FUNHOUSE instead of POLTERGEIST, providing a rich mix of childhood wonderment turned into utter terror that those two masters could have made classic. Instead, it’s two modern masters who bring something special and unique to this tribute to ’80s cinema turned completely on its head, which is then decapitated. Anchored by three excellent performances from leads Théo Fernandez, Damien Ferdel and Zacharie Chasseriaud, it’s a rich tribute not only to coming-of-age cinema, but also to rites of passage themselves, all the horrors of childhood and the unknown world beyond suburbia. Featuring a gorgeous score by Raphaël Gesqua and making tremendous use of the superb abandoned movie lot sets by frequent collaborator Marc Thiébault, AMONG THE LIVING is the duo’s most technically accomplished film to date, bringing wonderful reminders of summers and summer movie classics past and totally fucking them up for good. But it’s also Bustillo and Maury’s farewell to innocence and induction to the terrible world of adulthood, where horror is a daily occurrence.
— Matthew Kiernan