While lesser filmmakers get their heads down and sprint into the mainstream after even the most offbeat of beginnings, Ben Wheatley appears determined to keep himself steadfast on the outskirts of conventional filmmaking. High-Rise may feature his starriest cast yet with a so-hot-right-now Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller, but this is definitely no cautious step towards blockbuster boredom. Wheatley follows up the dazzlingly weird and wonderfully experimental A Field in England with something higher budget but equally perplexing, adapting J. G. Ballard's ‘70s novel.
Opting to keep the ‘70s setting of the book, High-Rise offers an oddly nightmarish vision of what a near-future building would look like as conceived in the ‘70s. It’s the future as seen from the past, and at the same time an apparition of a future that has already passed. The residents of a brand new tower block descend into a mad orgy of sex and violence as the different floors of the building turn to tribalism and savagery. Isolated by their own free will from the outside world, petty grievances over usage of the building’s swimming pool and waste chutes become amplified as the high-rise structure begins to disintegrate and the formerly ‘civilised’ society inside collapses.
Sound like your cup of tea? Check out the rest of my High-Rise review at Starburst Magazine now.
Watch the trailer below: