2019 | 95 minutes | Rated R

With Climax, controversy-courting director Gaspar Noé—the enfant terrible behind Irreversible, Enter the Void, and Love—does everything within his power to fuck with viewers’ perceptions. But here, the jarring visuals and strange interruptions serve a greater narrative purpose, embedding viewers deep within the mindset of a modern dance troupe led by Selva (Sofia Boutella). Chaos ensues when the troupe is unwittingly dosed with high-octane LSD, with the psychedelics unleashing the dancers’ underlying tensions. But the biggest mindfuck in Climax is how Noé creates what's easily the most entertaining and palatable film, in spite of his usual predilections for both pretension and forcing his female characters to suffer constant violence and abuse. Free of the fantastical elements found in other trippy horror stories—Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy, for example—Climax ends up being a lot harder to easily shake off or dismiss through an ironic remove. If you can stomach Noé’s worst tendencies, this one will stick with you.

Read the full review here.

SIFF tickets here.


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Film Credits
Gaspar Noé
Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude Gajan Maull, Giselle Palmer, Taylor Kastle, Thea Schott