HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: AMONG THE LIVING (2014)

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AMONG THE LIVING (Aux yeux des vivants) (2014)

(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

French horror finds three troublesome youths Victor, Tom and Dan (Théo Fernandez, Zacharie Chasseriaud and Damien Ferdel) playing hooky from school and sneaking onto an abandoned movie lot. There they find a woman bound and gagged in an abandoned car who is sequestered away before they can decide what to do. The police don’t believe them due to their reputations, but the man responsible, deranged war veteran Issac (Francis Renaud) isn’t taking any chances and sends his deformed son Klarence (Fabien Jegoudez) to kill the three boys and their families. 

Flick is written and directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the duo the brought us Inside, Livide and the recent Leatherface. It combines a youth coming of age story with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre slant as these deranged individuals plan to kidnap women to expand their family…which is introduced to us in the gruesome opening…and murder any witnesses. There is some vicious and brutal violence and some very disturbing moments and the makers aren’t afraid to do more than just put the three boys in harm’s way. The deranged Issac is a war veteran whose been effected by chemical warfare and thus it has led to Klarence being born deformed and being a bit unhinged himself. That being said, this really isn’t anything new. Changing the location from an abandoned slaughter house to an abandoned movie studio isn’t much of a change and innocents being stalked and murdered by deranged and deformed individuals has been a horror standard for decades. It’s effectively done and thus is still disturbing and the cast all play their parts well. It’s an effective thriller even though it combines story elements that have been told time and time again.

In conclusion this is a brutal thriller, though nothing innovative or new. It uses a combination of popular movie tropes and adds some very graphic violence and isn’t afraid to unleash that violence on any of the cast members. It’s easy to see why the duo was chosen for the prequel Leatherface, though that was nothing new as well. An effective if not derivative thriller.

-MonsterZero NJ

Rated 3 (out of 4) naughty lads who should have played somewhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: CUB (2014)

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Cub

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CUB (2014)

(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Cub…also known as Welp…is a Belgian horror flick that takes place in the remote French woodlands with a group of Flemish Cub Scouts on a camping trip. To spice things up for the excursion, the scout leaders (Titus De Voogdt and Stef Aerts) have told the scouts a story about a feral boy named Kai, who roams these woods and can transform himself into a werewolf at night. Troubled loner Sam (Maurice Luijten) has taken this campfire story very seriously…and maybe he should. As once the troop enters the dense woods, they soon find out that maybe there is some truth to this fireside tale after all.

Directed by Jonas Govaerts, who co-wrote with Roel Mondelaers, this is an effective and entertaining little horror that can be quite brutal and gruesome despite it’s large cast of kids. Being a European production, this bloody little flick doesn’t operate under the same PC guidelines, as American features do and isn’t afraid to ‘go there’ when it comes to putting it’s young characters in harm’s way…or sometimes portraying them as just being kids. There are some very spooky sequences and some very violent ones, too, as there is indeed someone…or something…lurking in the woods. As in most horror, there are some questions that don’t get answered and the ending isn’t totally a surprise, but it is a satisfying 80+ minutes of backwoods horror and presented with a nice visual eye by director Govaerts. Supporting him is some nice cinematography by Nicolas Karakatsanis, of the forest setting and of the old factory that comes into play later on and there is a very Carpenter-ish electronic score by Steve Moore.

The cast are all fine, especially the kids lead by Maurice Luijten as Sam. Sam is a likable hero and the flick puts him through the ringer at times and Luijten plays his transition from loner to fighter very well. Titus De Voogdt and Stef Aerts are solid as the scout leaders Chris and Peter. Chris being the level headed adult and Peter being more immature and less responsible. Evelien Bosmans is pretty and likable as the expedition cook, Jasmine and object of Sam’s crush. She shows some spunk later on when things get rough and is one of the few to defend Sam when he is blamed for acts he didn’t commit. A decent cast where the kids perform some tough sequences and very well.

I liked this little flick. It’s not perfect, but it was entertaining and had some nice tension and good gore FX. The characters all worked well and young Maurice Luijten did a good job as Sam. There is some nice atmosphere and while it is not an unfamiliar story, it was told effectively and well. An entertaining little horror and hopefully a sign of good things to come from Jonas Govaerts.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 Cubs.

cub rating

 

 

 

 

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