Director: Gaspar Noe
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub
Runtime: 1hr 37min
What It Is: One night, a dance troop practices their routine choreographed by Selva (Boutella) in an abandoned school and expect to spend the rest of the night partying. When things take a turn for the twisted, the dancers realize someone has spiked their sangria and shut themselves in as they spiral into a bad trip in this psychological dance horror.
What We Think: Noe serves to never disappoint, a man who knows what makes a film worth watching for those looking for something to test the idea of what a person imploding is like. That is what were given is a darkly hypnotic delve into madness. The actual dancing, performances, and choreography are stunning, each intense and twisted in their own right. Beautifully-filmed through disorienting cinematography and keen in all the chaos and a pumping score, this film is electric—and at times nauseatingly palpable in its expression of insanity. I can’t say I have any gripe with it except for a scene that copies directly from the iconic 1981 horror film Possession’s subway freakout that, though given a sneaky shoutout in the first act, severly distracted me and had me sort of preturbed that I was watching what felt like a lesser reenactment. There’s that, and the flat feeling at the end of the story. It felt almost as if Gaspar held back in certain respects but induldged on others (ie, the scene length). Otherwise, it was a chill-inducing, third-eye opening viewing experience about what happens when fear has the wheel. Where his previous endeavour Love had sex, Climax has dance and screaming in hallways.
Our Grade: A-, A smart, animalistic, well-crafted film, I’m happy to say that what exists is yet another worthy entry from Gaspar for the cause of iconic cinema, more specifically the lengthy but valuable line of films about dancers spinning into various states of psychosis. Unforgettable, dreamy, and impressive.