Climax is a 2018 horror film directed, written & co-edited by Gaspar Noé (Irreversible, Enter the Void, I Stand Alone, & Love). It’s loosely based on a true story. It’s an international co-production between France & Belgium. It was only in pre-production for four weeks & shot for 15 days with a 5 page script. Most of the movie was improvised. It premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival & it won the Art Cinema Award. It was produced by Eddy Moretti (Vice, The Beach Bum, The Bad Batch, & Aniara), Vincent Maraval (The Wrestler, Whatever Works, Bully, & Che), & Richard Grandpierre (Irreversible, Them, Brotherhood of the Wolf, & Martyrs). The budget was €2.6 million & it grossed most of it’s $2,027,391 internationally at the box office.
A series of audition tapes is depicted, in which choreographer Selva (played by: Sofia Boutella from The Mummy, Hotel Artemis, Atomic Blonde, Kingsman, & Star Trek Beyond) & DJ Daddy (played by: Kiddy Smile) interview potential future members of a dance troupe they are creating. One night in Winter 1996, the collected dancers rehearse before an after-party in an abandoned school. They dance & drink sangria made by the troupe manager Emmanuelle (played by: Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull from Woke). The diverse group has several personal issues & share gossip about one another during the celebration. As the party progresses, the dancers get increasingly more agitated & confused which gets them thinking their drinks were spiked with LSD. Taylor (played by: Taylor Kastle) & Omar (played by: Adrien Sissoko from Elektro Mathematrix) get into it over Gazelle (played by: Giselle Palmer). Selva finds out a secret about her friend Lou (played by: Souheila Yacoub from Savages). Alaya (played by: Alaia Alsafir), David (played by: Romain Guillermic from Elektro Mathematrix), Psyché (played by: Thea Carla Schott from Noia), Rocket (played by: Kendall Mugler), Cyborg (played by: Alexandre Moreau from Buck), Ivana (played by: Sharleen Temple) & others are all having strong reactions from the sangria. Everyone starts losing their mind & the chaos starts between the group. Who will survive this mess????
Climax starts out like an extended music video. It’s a very slow burn type of film but it’s definitely worth the wait. Not much happens for the first half. You basically meet all the main characters & get some excellent dance choreography but once it kicks in, it gets crazy. It’s different from most features out there so if you are looking for something original, this is for you. It’s very dark, weird, & violent, the visual style really grabs your attention. It shows how much drugs can people in a short time. Tension is built up everywhere & it just explodes. Sofia Boutella is the only real actor in this so that’s where this movie has some problems because most of the performances are just okay in Climax. I will say Sofia was great as Selva. After the chaos starts, it’s very fun & entertaining. I won’t lie, it’s a little boring for awhile. The flow & pace is very hit or miss with this production but if you are patient it delivers. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & special features from Lionsgate! This 1080p (2:38:1) transfer looks fantastic on blu ray. I got the DVD for review at the same time as this & it’s a major improvement over that release. The French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track with some English every once awhile is a huge upgrade compared to the DVD. The music sounds amazing on this & it’s the true highlight on this release. The dialogue is crystal clear & all the madness is elevated. It has English SDH & Spanish subtitles. Both picture & sound are very impressive on this BD-R disc. There’s only one extra on the blu ray. “A Visceral Experience: Making Climax” is an interview with lead actress Sofia Boutella & it’s a little over 9 minutes. She chats about her love for music & dance. She talks about her character in this. She brings up her experience here & mentions all the improvisation during the shoot. She praises director Gaspar Noé & discusses how it was like working with him on Climax. It’s available at most locations including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!