Gaspar Noe, director of the hugely controversial 'Irreversible', 'Enter the Void' and 'Love', makes a triumphant return with 'Climax' - a visually dazzling feast of music and mayhem, and perhaps his most critically acclaimed work to date. Following a successful rehearsal, a dance troupe set about celebrating with a party. But when it becomes apparent that someone has spiked the sangria, the joyous atmosphere soon transforms into a nightmarish hellscape of violence and twisted carnality as the dancers begin to turn on each other in an orgiastic frenzy. Inspired equally by the worlds of modern dance and esoteric arthouse-horror (chief among them, Dario Argento's Suspiria and Andrzej Zutawski's Possession), 'Climax' - which pulses towards its astonishing conclusion with a thumping score by the likes of Daft Punk, Aphex Twin and Gary Numan - illustrates a director at the height of his hallucinatory filmmaking powers.
Who hasn't been to a party where the punch has been spiked with acid and everything has descended into a hellish nightmare? If you are familiar with Noe's back catalogue and liked them you should like this. Slightly looser than his previous work and improvisation heavily used but still very stylised and choreographed with a great soundtrack to boot.
This is a difficult film to rate - I found the first half pretty enjoyable viewing, but the second half mostly lost me. Nothing much happens in the first half (other than some wild dancing), but there are lots of inventive camera moves, long takes, colour and sound, and I found it interesting in an 'arty' way. For the second half of the film, things shift more into horror mode as the spiked drink kicks in, but I couldn't really buy into the reality of the situation, and endless scenes of people wandering around screaming hysterically ultimately felt slightly boring. Despite that, there's enough visual invention here that I'd say this is still worth a watch if you appreciate more off-beat and arty films, it's just a shame the largely improvised narrative isn't stronger. (3.5 out of 5)
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Excruciatingly dull dance-hall film
- Climax review by Alphaville
This is a film about a troupe of young “dancers” cavorting around a dance hall to disco music. There’s a lot of hands-in-the-air arm-waving. Someone spikes the sangria with LSD then there’s a lot of shouting and screaming. It’s an ensemble piece with no interesting characters and no plot. All the action takes place in the one location. It’s like an amateur student drama. Towards the end it’s filmed upside down in red tones. Presumably that’s meant to be a metaphor. It certainly impressed gullible critics at arty film festivals. It’s so ridiculously repetitive and OTT it’ll make you laugh before fast-forwarding to the end or just giving up on it.
The DVD Extras are far more interesting. There’s a discussion of the music used and a feature on director Gaspar Noé’s career, which will make you want to watch his next film even less.
Fast forwarded the last 30 mins and it was still too slow. There is an awfull of talk about nothing and no plot.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Climax- not really -more an anti-climax.
- Climax review by SS
Good films tell a story about memorable characters and their struggles.This film is so confused that I found it difficult to like any of the characters or know what they thought about each other -so dull and amateurish. Nor is there a social commentary of any kind like in Amarcord (a fantasy film composed of disjointed images.) or 'American Werewolf in London' or 'World War Z' all fantasy/horror films with zig-zag plot lines.