Alas, Noé can’t keep the joy up for long and things quickly turn dark as Climax becomes less a study of mob-mentality and more a full on horror film/descent into hell – a switch that the film handles expertly. With nauseating greens and devilish reds quickly swallowing up the colour palette, the film drops all pretense of confronting the reality of real life dangers, and instead runs the audience through a haunted house of their worst fantasy fears – lead by a marvelously manic central performance from dancer-turned-actor Sofia Boutella.
If you’ve never ventured into a film by Gaspar Noé before, Climax is a great place to start. It contains all his indulgences but packs them into a tight hour and a half. If you’re a fan of his previous material then this is a great place to end up – it contains everything you want from his work, but without the glorification of its ugliness. Gaspar Noé has matured and his output is all the better for it.