Climax (2018)

Continuing my horror filled October I’ll be talking about Climax directed by Gaspar Noé. Before I get into the details of the movie I figure I should talk about Noé himself to give you an idea of the mind who came up with it. Noé is an Argentine director who is based in France (this is my first foreign film on the blog by the way) and he is a bit of a provocateur and experimentalist. His most well known film before this was a film tells the story of a woman being sexually assaulted but told in reverse (which received a lot of backlash at the time of its release). This movie is similarly experimental and off putting.

A still from Climax.

The film opens with a few clips from audition tapes of French dancers talking about themselves and why they love dancing, drugs and their drug experiences, etc. Then it cuts to a scene of a massive and complexly choreographed dance number where everybody joins in. This entire sequence is very well shot and gives a great introduction to the capabilities of the characters in terms of their dancing. After this we cut to little snippets of each character interacting with each other. This is a great section that establishes the characters, we learn about each of them and why they are there. Something that I would like to note is the length and distinction of each of these sections. For the first part of this movie, you’re not sure what each scene is leading to. Just when you get settled into the format of each section you’re wondering when it will cut to the next scene and it doesn’t, it just continues.

The rest of the film is where stuff gets weird. After their dance routine, the rest of the night is left to our characters partying, but somebody spiked the punch bowl that everybody’s been drinking out of. What ensues is 90 minutes of pure, drug fueled nightmare. I wouldn’t even know how to describe the “horror” of this film. You could say its psychological but not in the way that Saw or any other movie I’ve seen is, its completely unique to itself. Its techno-dance music pumping every minute on top of the awful things that each character does to each other that just crawls under your skin.

On top of this, the entire movie after we get to know the characters is all one shot. Meaning there are no cuts between different shots for the entire movie. Its very impressive how they managed to pull this off considering the production of this film. The cast consisted of all professional dancers with no acting experience and only one professional actor. The script for this film was five pages and was shot in 15 days.

A photo from Climax.

This movie is one of those that you watch once and don’t really ever forget. I would recommend this movie to someone who is a die hard horror fan who wants to see something that is unlike anything else they’ve ever seen. Beyond that, I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. I enjoyed it, I think its a good movie of course, but this is not a movie you can relax while watching. It will chew you up, spit you out, and leave its techno music banging in your head for hours after.

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