“Meander” begins as many up-to-date horror films do, with a bleak panorama and determinedly moody music, on this case a turgid, overwrought fake blues tailored from the 23rd Psalm, sung by Shawn James. An empty street is seen within the deep blue coloration subject, and in the midst of it lies Gaia Weiss’ Lisa. When she agrees to experience in a truck pushed by beardo Adam (Peter Franzén), she confides to the person “I don’t need to die; I simply need to see my daughter once more.” This present day would have been her daughter’s ninth birthday. Heavy, leaning towards fatalistic. Hmm.
However oops, a radio report comes on within the truck describing a serial killer who has a cross tattooed on his proper hand … after which Adam turns off the radio along with his proper hand with a tattooed cross on it … after which it’s blackout time.
Lisa wakes up in a metal enclosure, sporting a clingy catsuit and a cumbersome bracelet with a vibrant time readout on it. She quickly figures out she has to maneuver by a collection of cylindrical tunnels with a purpose to escape the loss of life by the hearth, dismemberment, acid burns, drowning, and such. The grotty corpses of those that got here earlier than her generally flip up in her path. They’re very grotty. Quickly she hears the voice of one other human. He seems like one of many Gumby Brothers in a previous Monty Python sketch. She quickly units eyes on him. At first, he appears to be just like the “It is …” man performed by Michael Palin who used to kick off every episode of the Python TV collection. However, wait … it’s Adam.
Okay, I believe I’ll depart the plot description be. For concerning the first 30 minutes or so, I used to be considering that “Meander,” written and directed by Mathieu Turi, was going to be one more exhibit in my ongoing case that up-to-date horror is creatively and morally bankrupt. Moreover, my thoughts meandered to the realm of the believable: the place did these horror film villains, I assumed, give you the cash, tools, and labor energy to construct these elaborate puzzle prisons? At the least “Dice” was an allegory. And escape rooms are an enterprise.
Nonetheless, the film serves up some nifty imagery. The floating cranium with a giant metallic eyepiece is attention-grabbing. There are some white-light sections of the tube that jogged my memory of “Phantasm.” “Illusion” didn’t make a number of sense both, so possibly I ought to reduce this image some slack. Whereas Lisa just isn’t a very curiously drawn character, Weiss’ efficiency is sort of dedicated.
As soon as I managed to loosen up a bit—even because the film itself refused to—I obtained some enjoyment out of it. Even because it lurched into territory recalling “Defending Your Life.” (Spoiler alert: possibly “Meander” IS an allegory.) The director and lead actor are French, and currently, the French have tended to use self-seriousness to style stuff with extra stress than traditional. “Illusion,” gnarly because it might get, all the time had an impish facet, simply because the monumental energy of AC/DC is leavened by the sight of its elfin lead guitarist in a schoolboy uniform. “Meander” has no such sense of enjoyment. However, it provides some newish sights and shocks.