I haven’t been on the edge of my seat in a movie since Avengers: Infinity War, but Gaspar Noe’s Climax had dance scenes so intricate, premonitory, and complex that I was leaning closer for the thrill and the detail. Sit up close or try to take it all in, the opening dance sequence presents a toxic male aggression, unexpectable transitions, blended styles that lays out the horrifying story of a dance troupe’s pre-tour celebrations turning into a fatal LSD trip from spiked sangria. That cataclysmic punch catapults many directions in an invigorating horror film for fans of Mother! or Suspiria (either one). Sofia Boutella (Kingsman, The Mummy) appears as a lively central dancer (she was on the French national team for rhythmic gymnastics) but the cast is otherwise European dancers or performers that crafted a horny, drunk party that unravels into inhibitionless madness for a group of near strangers plus one child there with his mother. I won’t tell you much more, but warning to the motion sick: we got a tad dizzy, so viewers beware!
Gaspar Noe did not draw as much vitriol for this assaulting vision, but the free form of his capture is a very French film: collaborative, melding styles and visions, and the ensemble was memorable and notable right off the bat. Undeniably queer, there are enough duckwalks and devastating death drops that any Drag Race diehard could fill their midweek fix in a twisted, complicated, trigger-filled but rewardingly provocative shock of a movie.