“Among the Living” is Alexandre Bustillo’s and Julien Maury’s attempt at a Stephen King-like horror movie, featuring a couple of teenagers who accidentaly stumble upon some weird mutant and his father, who then try to kill them. Unfortunately, most of the movie didn’t really work for me. My first issue with “Among the Living” is that I couldn’t relate to the teenagers AT ALL. Bad enough that they decide to burn down a barn for fun (?), but then one of them almost kills the owner with an axe. Ahm… yeah… not the kind of brats I feel sorry for when they are later supposed to get killed off one by one. It also felt a little implausible that none of them would have a cell phone. And what did the man and his son want with they woman that the kids find in the trunk anyway? I mean, yeah, of course I could think of a possible explanation, but wouldn’t it be the job of the movie to tell me? Because the way it stands, I can’t shake the feeling that this was simply an arbitrary, meaningless plot point to get the movie going.
It’s also pretty obvious that the intervening years between “Inside” and this didn’t do anything to conciliate them with the cops. While the first bunch is at least not quite as stupid as the ones in their first feature, later, when the family makes a 911-call, it takes the police forever to get to them. There are also some serious cases of SPAS again. The mum (I purposedly don’t say who’s mum she is so that it’s not too much of a spoiler) is totally useless and just stands idly by while her husband is killed in a prolonged (and a little too weird for my taste, with the foot) death scene. Later, both her and her son struggle for what feels like minutes to open a simple washing machine. Shortly after, the attacker lies on the ground unconscious, but instead of finishing him off (they’re in the fucking kitchen, so I would suspect a lot of knives lying around) or running away they prefer to hide under the table. I mean, come on.
Not that the bad guys are much better. So the little brats find them and inform the cops, and even though the cops didn’t find anything, daddy instructs his son to kill them – because sooner of later someone is bound to believe them. Ahm… seriously? I suspect that if those teenagers get killed off one by one after filing that report, it would raise the heads of even this stupified version of the french police. That just didn’t make any sense at all. That said, I loved the scene at the beginning, which is some kind of mirror image of “Inside”. That really was inspired, and a nice hommage to their earlier work. Also, because it moves rather fast, the movie at least never got dull. However, overall, there just was too much stupid for me to enjoy it.