High-Rise (2015)
May 1, 2016 10:28 AM - Subscribe

Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

The unnerving tale of life in a modern tower block running out of control. Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on 'enemy' floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for technological mayhem...In this classic visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as the inhabitants of the high-rise, driven by primal urges, recreate a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.
posted by ellieBOA (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mandatory snark: well, at least we now know what Loki was doing during "Civil War". (But bad timing for the release)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well this sure sounds wild.
posted by rhizome at 5:03 PM on May 1, 2016

I was just telling someone they should read The Big U but I didn't know what to compare it to. Stephenson was definitely inspired by Ballard.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:05 PM on May 1, 2016

An extremely Ballardian concept. Only needs some empty swimming pools.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:47 PM on May 1, 2016

Can someone tell me how the film stacks up to Ballard's novel? Loved the book, but the reviews I'm seeing say that the movie mostly kills all the fun Balliardian touches in favor of driving the social commentary off the cliff at full throttle.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:20 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Like all of Ben Wheatley's films, I had no idea how I felt about the film when I was watching it and have slowly been falling in love with it ever since.

It's been a long time since I read High Rise, but it seems to me that the movie hews to the general narrative quite closely, if forging its own way with a lot of the details. The satire in this film is relentless and scabrous, and it feels like a film that will take a number of viewings for me to properly unspool. I recall the idea of competing partygoers appearing in the novel, but it really takes center stage in the film, to an effect that manages to be both hilarious and terrifying. Before seeing it, my girlfriend remarked that it seemed like a vertical Snowpiercer, and I think it is basically set up to be similar.

But, God, it does't play out that way. The building is so shitty, so very very shitty, that everything falls apart almost immediately, on the top and the bottom floors. Really, the way the bottom floors get the worst of it is that the top floors keep throwing too-big garbage bags down, and so the corridors outside the dumpster hatch on each progressively lower flower gets piled with more and more garbage. While is also hilarious and terrifying.

This is a bad film for dog lovers, by the way.
posted by maxsparber at 11:24 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

One of the things I adored here was how it captured the distopic utopia feel of some 70s sci-fi movies. All it was missing was a wall filled with TV screens.

in favor of driving the social commentary off the cliff at full throttle
Surely you mean from a top floor with paper Icarus wings.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I haven't read the book but it felt like it rushed through parts that would have been better served by the book.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:48 PM on May 2, 2016

Best depiction of the current London property market I've ever seen.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:10 PM on May 6, 2016

A review, comparing High-Rise to Snowpiercer:

Call me an optimist but I couldn’t accept High-Rise’s premise of an isolated lawless world developing inside a skyscraper, not when the outside world remained completely accessible to the building’s inhabitants. There’s no apocalypse event in High-Rise. The building’s main doors aren’t ever blocked.

I personally loved that it didn't have an apparent or obvious apocalyptic set-up. I'd argue that this is exactly the point here: you do not need an apocalyptic event, a breaking point in order to find yourself in an apocalyptic situation. The film's (and book's) premise seems to be that we already live in one, only that it's nicely disguised as a capitalist society. And deep down, people are aware of this fact, and bit by bit, they're working towards its realisation. You don't need a forceful isolation from the outside world: hell is just the everyday without a mask. All you need for a revelation of this sort are small things, without apparent consequence, piling up. At one point, you simply notice there's no food left, only the dogs. Block the garbage chute, and see where it goes from there.
posted by sapagan at 11:33 PM on May 8, 2016 [10 favorites]

Holy fuck, this movie is like a game of Dwarf Fortress set inside the Scissor Sisters' Invisible Light video.

And hey! New Portishead!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:14 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Largely enjoying this, late to the show. I loved the book. I think, so far, I like this film more than I liked Crash, maybe because this film feels sometimes as free and fucked up as some other indie films made in the era in which it is set. Wheatley is a hilariously unpredictable filmmaker, and Ballard at his best evokes endless deadpan discomfort and laughter, at least when I read him. This film has that quality.
posted by mwhybark at 11:42 PM on December 13, 2019

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