Director: Mathieu Turi
Writer: Mathieu Turi
Starring: Gaia Weiss, Peter Franzén and Romane Libert
This was another film that if not for the Nightmares Film Festival, I might have never heard of. This was listed as part of their thrillers, but early into this movie, it really is a horror film as well. I did get the chance to see this for its North American premiere as well. The synopsis here is a woman gets locked in series of strange tubes full of deadly traps.
We start this movie off with something that I thought was cleaver. We’re hearing someone listening to the radio and they’re changing the dials. Something of note is that one station is talking about someone who killed two people and another one being people have seen strange lights in the sky.
The movie then shifts us over to Lisa (Gaia Weiss). She’s lying in the middle of the road, looking up at the sky. She hears a vehicle coming so she gets out of the way. The driver is portrayed by Peter Franzén. He offers to give her a ride and she declines. He understands, but shares that the closest gas station is 6 or 7 miles. As he starts to pull away, she changes her mind.
They talk and this is an interesting way to get to know her as he asks questions. She is reluctant to share, but does inform him that she had a daughter. What we gather is that she passed away. Things get tense between them when she turns on the radio to hear about the murders from earlier. The description seems to match him, including the tattoo on his hand. She is then knocked out.
We then get an odd scene where what looks like a star gets closer and closer until we realize; it might be something more than that. Lisa wakes up in a room. It’s not big enough for her to stand. She’s in a futuristic spandex like outfit and has this odd band on her wrist. It is glowing and a timer starts. She notices on one wall are markings like someone has been there previously. A door then opens. She goes through it and as the synopsis states, she has to deal with traps and find her way out of this structure. She also isn’t the only one in here.
That’s where I’m going to leave my recap as this movie really does have a basic premise. They do well in introducing some information and then getting right into it. What I do like here is that they don’t over explain things either. That is something that I don’t think was necessarily needed. This movie also provides some powerful emotions as well.
Where I think I should move to next would be where Lisa finds herself. This movie really felt like a combination of Cube and Saw. She isn’t necessarily getting messages about how to play this game so she has to figure it out. Cube for sure with the sci-fi aspects of the place that she is being kept. It is interesting that her goal is to get to a safe spot that opens before the timer runs out. We get a couple of examples if she doesn’t with burnt corpses. Saw mostly because she was extremely depressed and whoever is doing this is testing her.
The testing her aspect is where I want to go next. This movie is mostly following her as she figures out the challenges before her. I think it is an interesting thing to give a bit of her back-story in the car ride and then the place that she is in shows her images not only from her childhood, but that of her daughter (Romane Libert). I’m not going to lie, there’s something quite emotional right near the end with this that had me tearing up. Weiss does just an amazing job at coming to terms with what is happening and needing to move on to survive. Libert is good in making her face that. I also like Franzén as this antagonist that she has to deal with as well. There’s some really creepy make-up done with him as things go on.
To shift this back to where she is stuck, another aspect that felt like Cube is the fact that they probably reused a lot of the same tunnels. That would seem like the smart thing to do, especially since we aren’t getting a great look at them. It feels like this could be alien in nature without them needing to ram that part of it down our throats. We get a bit more of this later in the movie, but I like that for a good stretch it could be just a demented person like Jigsaw or like the villain from The Collector that set up something like this. Outside of using fire, they also have water as a trap to deal with, acid and some other things that also take a toll emotionally as well as physically. It appears that pretty everything was done practically which makes it that much better for me. They also do some cool things with the cinematography to simulate the changing of science with things.
So now with that said, I ended up really enjoy this movie. It is one of those ones that I came in knowing very little and just getting immersed into what they were doing. How they introduce things in a subtle way and building on it as things go was well done. This really has a small cast of characters as well, mostly focusing just on Weiss. Her performance is great and I give credit to the support in building to the character that Lisa needs to be to survive. The effects, setting and cinematography all were good. The soundtrack fit for what was needed. What I did like there were the sounds of the setting and the echoing of the yelling. That helped build the tension. This is an interesting little sci-fi, horror thriller in my opinion that I found to be a good movie. One I definitely want to watch again for sure to see how it holds up.
My Rating: 8 out of 10