* * * *
Three boys run away from school to spend the afternoon at the abandoned film studious. Getting into trouble is nothing new for these three thirteen year old delinquents, but they are going to get into a kind of trouble they never even dreamed of. When the kids uncover the traces of some terrifying presence they are mocked by the local police and punished by their parents. But when the evil follows them home a true night of terror begins.
The new film from Julienne Maury and Alexander Bustillo is more atmospheric treat than a gore feast. I guess in many ways it is dictated by the young age of the cast and it is not fun to watch children die in terrible ways even for the hard core horror fans.
The script is well structured and the suspense is oozing from every scene to keep your eyes peeled. The film is full of wisely used cliches and some inventive kills that come in the second part of the film are spectacular. AMONG THE LIVING is not for faint hearted and the believable characters will make you care.
As for the flaws, there is too much narrative and many scenes and character motivations are over explained. A few murder scenes seemed to be severely cut to achieve the rating, but that may not be the case as Maury and Bustillo are determined not to sacrifice the artistic freedom for profit. AMONG THE LIVING, surprisingly, could be almost called uplifting in comparison to directors' previous works. It is designed to terrify and not to push towards despair like INSIDE. AMONG THE LIVING is a perfect example of 80's horror with a modern twist.
Watch out for Beatrice Dalle in reverse from her role in INSIDE and many references to the old films you may or may not love, but cannot help knowing all the same.