Movie Review: Meander

Vikings' Star Gaia Weiss Joins Sci-Fi Thriller 'Meander' - Variety

credit: Meander

On a scale of weird to ‘what the hell am I watching,’ Meander is one of those movies that takes a while to get into but is still interesting enough for those that happen to enjoy escape room movies and thrillers that don’t make a lot of sense. The movie opens with a woman, Lisa, lying on the road, supposedly waiting to be run over, or perhaps just lying about since she has no motivation to keep going. When a car does come, she gets up, so it’s fair to think that she’s not q quite ready to die. Upon taking a ride from the driver, though, she ends up turning on the radio to hear about an individual that’s just killed two people and can be identified by the tattoo of a cross on his hand. When Lisa sees this, she obviously makes the connection, but it’s almost too late as the man attacks her with a knife. After that, everything fades out, and Lisa wakes up to find herself in a strange jumpsuit with an even stranger wristband shackled to her left forearm. As if this weren’t enough to start with, she’s also stuck in a strange system of tunnels, complete with traps that begin to emerge as she starts crawling along. 

French Movie 'Meander': A Tense Sci-Fi Horror Springs Up Like A Trap To  Capture And Torture The Imagination - Hollywood Insider

credit: Meander

The how and why of this movie might confuse people initially since there are not a lot of strong plot points unless one knows the story. 

That’s the trick, though, knowing the story isn’t entirely possible without being one of those who was present during the making of the movie. There are a couple of moments in the movie that make it easy to guess what was going on and why Lisa was such a tragic character, but apart from that, there isn’t that much, to be fair. Her journey throughout the passages in this movie still manages to grab the attention of the audience since one could easily imagine that the structure she’s trapped in is immense, given that the traps are liable to take up a great amount of space when they’re being set and tripped, and the tunnels themselves would need to take up a large area. 

Lisa learns quickly; she kind of has to. 

After the initial trap that nearly crushes her, Lisa starts paying attention to the timer on her wrist and keeps moving forward. As the band flashes yellow and then red, with a countdown to let her know how many minutes and seconds are left to clear one obstacle or another, Lisa has to dash forward or figure out how to avoid being crushed, immolated, burned by acid, or harmed in another manner. At one point during her trek through the tunnels, she comes upon another individual, who is identified only a short time later as Adam, the man who attempted to attack her before she found herself in the tunnels. Adam is wearing the same outfit as she is and has his own bracelet, but he’s adamant about killing her, and as their bracelets chime again and they’re both released into the same tunnel, the two have to fight it out as the walls sprout the same devices that, earlier, are seen to belch flame as Lisa just barely made her way to safety in a glass-walled enclosure that kept her safe. This time, however, Lisa is able to fend Adam off and take up the enclosure as the glass wall falls, cutting off Adam’s arm as he’s immolated only a moment later. 

 

Meander (2020) - Filmaffinity

credit: Meander

It’s not tough to think that anyone would give up at some point.

There are a couple of times when Lisa is about ready to give up, especially since it feels as though she’s going in circles. Once she figures it out, though, her will strengthens, and as she’s set upon by the burned, crispy form of Adam, who has somehow been reanimated, she continues to push forward, finding the way as the challenges get harder. The images she sees of her daughter, who died after falling out of a window, nearly break her, as does the image of her daughter, who speaks to her, but somehow Lisa keeps moving forward. After ending the life of the reanimated corpse of Adam, she makes her way forward, discovering the direction from markings that have been left upon her wrist. When she reaches the final shaft that appears to lead into the open air, she loses half of her left foot, trying to make her way past three separate guillotine-like blades that drop and raise in short intervals of 4, 3, and 2 seconds. 

The movie is still confusing by the end. 

Once she reaches the end of the shaft, Lisa finds that the ‘end’ is really a moving image that covers a solid wall. Giving up finally, she rolls to her back, making it clear that the fight has gone out of her. Before she can be immolated as Adam was, though, she is lifted into a bright white light and finds herself awake and, in one piece only a short while later, lying on a rock near a river. She also sees her daughter, who tells Lisa that her body has already died multiple times. The final note in this movie, the realization that she’s on an alien planet, leaves the audience in great confusion as the credits start to roll. Strangely though, it’s easy to be comfortable with this. 

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