There is much to like about Level 16. It’s certainly one of those new sci-fi movies that make you think they are something else.
Directed and written by Danishka Esterhazy, the film takes place in a school. In the school, there are only female pupils and they’re all eagerly awaiting adoption when they complete the levels. Each level shows a new kind of compliance they need to achieve.
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In a highly regimented boarding school, a pair of students discover that things are not as they seem.
Level 16 was released in February 2018
Produced by Markham Street Films.
Distributed by Dark Sky Films.
Who is Miss Brixil?
The cast is all experienced, some more than others but you really couldn’t tell. The set is beautifully minimalistic, a stark palette with barely any color applied to all those that inhabit the school. When Miss Brixil is introduced to the mix she stands out, she wears makeup and makes a clear divide between those in the room and herself. Even her hair, fake and the blondest of blondes’ announces a dire double standard between what is being taught and what is in front of them.
What is the Movie Level 16 About?
Level 16 is a sci-fi movie. It begins with a group of very well behaved girls locked away in a prison-like environment. The girls are shown propaganda that instills a value system:
- They must remain clean, exercise patience and never show anger.
- A loudspeaker announces a daily vitamin regime that must be completed under the watchful eyes of a video camera.
- Punishment is swift of course, and there are numerous methods on hand to show the girls if they are in the wrong.
Despite all this, the film feels weak at times, the final scene was quite the anti-climax and I’m rather uncertain as to exactly how it ended where it did. The low maturity rating is perhaps a contributing factor but I see the appeal of opening up the film to a wider audience.
Is Level 16 Trying to Say Something
Being labeled a science fiction film gave away that there is indeed a larger picture at play. Level 16 takes advantage of this label by making you think it’s something it’s not. It makes you look for clues if you’d at least gone in thinking something is not right here. It leaves you guessing why these girls are the way they are. Subsequently, there are a lot of little details in this film that makes it an above-average made-for-television movie. Nothing that will blow your socks off but neat and tidy in the very least.
The story itself is not unique and, I can think of several films that reminded me of this one. I’d love to rattle a few of them off but if you really want to enjoy this film, it’s best I don’t. Even though the ideas have been done in similar ways, I quite liked the way the characters were the focal point.
I thought there was a clever use of elements that seemed to scream loudly about sisterhood. They touch on women’s issues and other forums but I can’t get into those so that I won’t spoil the big reveal. Overall it’s a worthy film that deserves your attention.
I give Level 16
3 who called the cops out of 5
Directed and written by Danishka Esterhazy, the film stars
Katie Douglas (Mary Kills People), Celina Martin (iZombie) and, Sara Canning (Vampire Diaries.)
You can stream Level 16 on all the usual platforms in the USA (Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango and Vudu for rent or digital download)