Climax (2018)



Belgium, France
English, French
Drama, Horror, Music
Adrien Sissoko, Alaia Alsafir, Alexandre Moreau
97 min

What it's about

When a dance troupe is lured to an empty school, a bowl of drug-laced sangria causes their jubilant rehearsal to descend into a dark and explosive nightmare as they try to survive the night—and find who's responsible—before it's too late.

The take

This twisted movie is actually two movies, the credits even roll in between. The first half is gorgeous: talented dancers get together for a party and perform beautiful contemporary dance sequences. They introduce themselves through their audition tapes to join the dance group, but also through conversations at the party. The second half is less fun. It turns out someone had laced the sangria they've been drinking with a psychedelic drug. Not for the faint of heart or anyone who didn't like director Gaspar Noé's past movies (Enter the Void, I Stand Alone, etc).

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Gaspar Noe knew that following his amazing body of work , from “I stand alone” to the high budget “Enter the Void”, he was expected to both surprise yet stick to his guns by delivering a shocking experience that defies not just yet the established rules of Direction, but even turn the notion of scripts upside down.

The outcome is “Climax”, a film with a premise so basic the trailer encompasses ALL the elements to be found in the film, but still manages to achieve a depth rarely seen on the silver screen. Unknown actors, an introduction to the world building as long as it is disorienting (complete with the archtypical GN ‘giant letters’ credits mid-film), and of course, a level of psychological violence that will have you reach for the valium.

Yes, this is not not for everyone. Yes, it breaks all the rules. What did you expect? It’s GASPAR NOE we’re talking about here, the guy who made a porn movie for the Canne Festival, in 3D of all things. “Climax” is as accessible as it comes in some aspect, and more obscure than the darkest of what Lynch offers in some others.

That dychontomy is not here by accident – nothing ever is. Many have accused GN of being ‘lazy’ by reusing his successful gimmicks from previous films – I see them more as “clin d’oeuils’ to an audience who knows exactly what they’re getting into.

Not his best work, but still head and shoulders above Hollywood fare and definitely on the level of some of the best introspective films out there (Dogtooth, etc).

Best movie I have ever seen.

I was anxious the whole time watching this movie, and I don’t fright easily. Hard to say if I liked it or not, but it just wasn’t a pleasant experience.

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