Friday, 28 September 2018

'Climax' Review

On a cold winters night, a group of young dancers throw a party after finishing their practice. A simple party turns into chaos after the punch is spiked with LSD, leading to utter chaos and a descent into madness for those affected. 

With the summer blockbuster season coming to an end, Gaspar Noe's 'Climax' couldn't provide a bigger contrast to the big studio action films that have dominated these past few months. A mad hybrid of horror and musical, Noe has created something unlike anything else you will see this year, an artistic nightmare that will either repulse you or have you raving about it.

'Climax' certainly doesn't follow a natural form of storytelling, half the feature consists of stylish interviews and simple discussions, with the other half showcasing total anarchy as the 'incident' takes place. There is an abundance of time taken up just by characters speaking to one another in groups of two for around 10 minutes which can feel a little overdone but these short segments do play dividends further on into the film. These conversations provide some character and motivations as well as an insight into the mentalities and psyches of the dance troupe in an unconventional but effective way. For many viewers, this slow buildup before the mayhem may turn some people off the film but it is all worthwhile in the long run.

What comes next is nothing short of a psychedelic nightmare, with the effects of an LSD laced punch taking its toll on the dancers. From here on, the film doesn't give you any chance to catch your breath, as it throws one horrifying moment after another continuously until the film ends. Noe captures this wonderfully with long takes and perfect choreography, with many little details in the backgrounds of shots adding to the horror of what some of these characters are experiencing. Noe's constantly moving camerawork and use of screen space really helps create some unnerving and claustrophobic scenes, with some wicked performances along the way adding to the brutality of the actions going on. Noe has a real eye for detail, letting no shot go to waste and utilizing his long takes masterfully in creating something truly horrifying.

The climax of this unusual picture cements it as one of the years best, with the actions of each character gradually escalating in unpredictable fashion. There are plenty of memorable, harrowing moments that easily surpasses the mainstream horror pictures with its brutal realistic depiction of this anarchy created. Combined with manic and sleazy performances led by the wonderful Sofia  Boutella, 'Climax' is a film that goes all out to leave a lasting impression on its viewer. It doesn't look to tell a story in traditional ways, it rather wants you to feel everything that's going on, whether that is pleasant or not.

A bizarre concoction of a film, 'Climax' is one of the years highlights that deserves more recognition. Stylish, sleazy, horrifying yet utterly captivating, 'Climax' is unlike another other feature released this year and is one that will certainly leave a lasting impression.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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