Dir. Mathieu Turi
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Lisa (Gaia Weiss) awakes to find herself in a maze and must fight her way through a series of traps if she intends to make it out alive. The maze is more high tech than the opening film's suspect would be capable of and as she reaches the end of the maze, the shocking truth is out of this world.
Straight from the pages of CUBE, MEANDER is nothing new and uses it's claustrophobic plot to essentially deliver a series of puzzles until the victim finds out why and how she ended up there. There's a really strong start but the film is a marathon and as the film enters it's final third, offers a really left field answer and one that lacks the energy to make it to a great finish. While may have some favourable supporters, in general it does not work and most audiences will question the film-maker's decision after such a promising start.
One the reveal happens it really does distract from the tension and as a result, the rest of the film generally doesn't matter. It's an unfair critique for a film trying to inject some originality into the genre but it undoes the grounded reality and mystery the film had led it's audience down.
MEANDER is not without it's scenes of violence, despite being no more than a two horse race, it's mostly led by Weiss' strong solo performance who carries the films tension and fight through to the mazes climax. There's plenty of bloodshed and it's not an easy watch for the screamish but any route you start to believe the film will go down is taken aback when the film goes into full sci-fi mode.
The traps become repetitive and as the film takes a turn the remaining traps become repetitive and irrelevant which is a wasted shame when the traps are as inventive and creative as they are. MEANDER feels like a one trick pony, what if humans became the mice, and one that wears thin very quickly.