The first entry in our Director Spotlight column is a couple of gentlemen that need very little introduction. The directing team of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo became legends overnight with their 2007 French-language film Inside (À l’intérieur). It has become a modern horror classic, but due to localization issues, there’s a good chance you haven’t been able to enjoy their latest works.
Let’s explore the films that got us to where we are today – then we’ll take a look at a future that is all too exciting. Let’s begin!
Inside - 2007
This is where it all began. Released by Dimension Extreme in 2007, Inside became an instant classic among die hard horror fans.
It follows a young pregnant women throughout the night as a murderous psychopath does everything in her power to steal the unborn child from its mother’s stomach. Inside is an unrelenting force that set a new standard for French horror. Some argue that it remains the gold standard to this day.
Livid - 2011
Maury and Bustillo’s follow-up to Inside may go down as one of the most anticipated indie releases of all time. After setting the bar so impossibly high, how could they surpass their debut? Well, they didn’t.
Originally slated to be the team’s English-language debut, they would eventually lose creative control over Livid’s story and scale things back to a smaller French production. Who knows what might have been. While the atmosphere-centric story has some obvious problems, Livid showcased Maury and Bustillo’s sheer talent behind the camera. If Inside goes down as one of the most gruesome films in modern horror history, then Livid may go down as one of the most beautiful.
Among the Living - 2014
After a somewhat disappointing showing with Livid, Maury and Bustillo turned to crowdfunding to produce their next film titled Among the Living. They made it known that they would be leaving the fairytale-esque flavor of their previous film, and returning to their gritty roots. In hindsight, Among the Living falls somewhere in between. There’s no denying that it is the better shot film in comparison to Inside, but it lacked the intensity.
The film follows a group of young children that stumble upon a murderous lair while ditching school. After the boys report their findings to the police, a maniac and his father set out for revenge.
The involvement of children could explain the slight decrease in aggression. Don’t get the wrong idea though, Among the Living put our favorite French duo back on the gritty track that we were looking for.
Leatherface - 2016
After months of rumors and hearsay, Maury and Bustillo finally confirmed that they would be directing the latest installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. This wasn’t a complete shock, as the team had been in discussions to work on Halloween 2 and Hellraiser before leaving both projects for unknown reasons. They were obviously trying to get into America, and there’s no better way to do that these days than becoming attached to a beloved franchise.
Details on Leatherface are scarce. All we know is that the film follows a violent teen who one day will become Leatherface. He escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnaps a young nurse and takes her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge.
Sure, you have to disregard the last TCM prequel, but just imagine what these guys can do. With the violence of Inside coupled with the brilliant camera work of Livid and Among the Living; this might be the best TCM movie in 40 years.