Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, Among the Living follows three friends (Théo Fernandez’s Victor, Zacharie Chasseriaud’s Tom, and Damien Ferdel’s Dan) as they make a horrifying discovery at an abandoned film studio. Filmmakers Bustillo and Maury kick Among the Living off with a somewhat baffling yet thoroughly promising opening featuring the return of their Inside star, Béatrice Dalle, so it’s fairly disappointing to discover that the movie segues into a by-the-numbers midsection riddled with overly familiar elements (including misunderstood, rebellious protagonists and long stretches in which dimly-lit environs are explored). There’s little doubt, then, that the picture improves considerably once the central characters are pursued by an exceedingly sinister force, and although Bustillo and Maury’s initial reluctance to show any violence is lamentable, Among the Living boasts an incredibly brutal stretch detailing a dead-of-night home invasion and it’s certainly as engrossing and electrifying as one might’ve hoped (ie it’s absolutely derivative of Inside but when something works, it works). The subsequent finale can’t help but come off as anticlimactic as a result, unfortunately, which does, in the end, confirm Among the Living‘s place as a watchable horror effort never quite becomes a wholehearted success.
**1/2 out of ****