Film Review: Meander

STUDIO: Gravitas Ventures | DIRECTOR: Mathieu Turi | CAST: Gaïa Weiss, Peter Franzen, Romane Libert
SPECS: NR | 87 min. | Horror science fiction thriller

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  1/2

In Meander, the clock is running and Lisa (Gaia Weiss, Vikings) is trapped in a seemingly unending complex of metal tubes with a time-keeping instrument with a light is attached to her wrist.

How did she get there? She’s not sure. All she can remember is being picked up on a desolate road by a mysterious driver (Adam Franzen, The Gunman) she believed to be a murderer. And now Lisa has to squirm through this claustrophobic metallic environment wherein she will encounter a rotting corpse, another  person battling their way to get through the tightened confines,  flesh-melting fireballs, a guillotine-styled blade and a whole bunch of other life-threatening hazards.

Gaïa Weiss stars in Meander

This unusual and unnerving French language film from Gallic writer-helmer Matthieu Turi (Hostile) is guaranteed to give the heebie-jeebies to those uncomfortable with the likes of The Vanishing, Cube or Buried as it’s almost entirely a one-woman show where Lisa has to crawl through a tiny space, her life endangered with nearly every move.

In many ways, Meander is an impressive feat of filmmaking, with its intensity level high throughout. Dressed in a tight, athletic suit much like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, Weiss turns in an impressive, nearly speechless physical performance as the leading–and usually only—character in the film.

Despite Weiss’s grueling acrobatics, however, Meander meanders when it comes to logic and explanation.  Its denouement is fuzzy, but we’ll avoid going deeper into that for fear of letting some spoilers out of the bag.  Still, Turi’s approach to unnerving an audience are highly effective, but his philosophical “WTF?” way of bringing everything together is enigmatic and frustrating, especially after spending 90 minutes of nerve-rattling purgatory in what is essentially an air conditioning duct.

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.