Insanity is a dance.
Gaspar Noe’s latest is an essential piece of modern cinema and a near-pitch perfect exercise in tension and sheer horror. With it’s outstanding synchronicity, each element in Climax adds to it’s tightly condensed 96 minute run time. From it’s bopping soundtrack (ranging from Cerrone’s 1977 Hit “Supernature” to a haunting opening track of Gary Numan’s take on Satie’s 3 Gymnopedies) to it’s graphic and vibrant cinematography, each piece of intricate framing and sound composition all adds up to one of the most tense and bone chilling films I’ve seen in recent memory. The biggest shock? It was only filmed in less than 15 days. Gaspar, you’re a mad man!
Demonic Dancers and Drugged Victims drive this hellish nightmare into pure overdrive. Noe compliments each sporadic editing choice with an intricately layered non-linear 3-act structure. Sure they’re might be the occasional slow burn, but it all gracefully adds up to the film’s horrific and nail-biting final 45 minutes. Each deplorable action is explicitly shown, transfixing the audience in a lure of triggering sadistic actions. It’s difficult to look away from Climax. It’s like a plane crash. You know things aren’t going to turn out well, but the explosive finale is just to damn hard to look away from. With this said, Climax is an experience to say the least.
The only drawback to the hellish dream of Climax is it’s overuse in semi-ex-positional dialogue and a specific reveal which was implied with a spoiler-filled shot at the end of the film. For a film that heavily relies on visual detail, using candid imagery as means of exploitation and sensory overload, there’s a surprising amount of ex-positional detail in the film. Lines of dialogue such as “Did you Lace It?” or “Is this LSD?” is just not needed, especially when the film exceeded expectations in delivering an excellent product that ingeniously uses the power of visual storytelling. To add on, the only part of the film which I genuinely disliked was the final one-minute shot. Not only did this shot partly ruin all emotional connection to a specific character in the film, but it also disregarded their pre-established arks and traits in creating this reveal. Cut this shot out, and you pretty much have one of the greatest films made in the 21st century.
Climax is a joyride of pure ecstasy. Through it’s visionary direction and awe-inspiring attention to detail, this french film (which is very proud of itself) perfectly encapsulates the emotional dismay of explicit substance abuse. It’s tense, provoking, audacious, and addictive. Noe has outdone himself once again!
Insanity is a drug.
A24 Has Planned A 2018 North American Release For Climax. Dates TBA