Quick Take: Meander (2020)

Director. Mathieu Turi. Starring: Gaia Weiss. Release: VOD.

A woman wakes up in a tiny room, with no memory of how she got there. She must now make her way through a series of tight tunnels (think the air ducts of Die Hard). The problem is: The tunnels are full of deadly traps. Oh, and there's a deadline too! That's about all you should know about Meander before you see it, making a review a bit of challenge.

The thing is: This movie has tricks up its sleeve. Many tricks. And because of the simple nature of the setup, they will be hard, nay, impossible to predict, so saying more would ruin the film's wonderful surprises. I will say this, though: Meander is not Cube.

It sounds like this might be a ripoff of that 1997 Canadian science fiction movie, given the similarities in the setup, but these two movies are very different, albeit in the same genre. What's most striking about Meander is that it's a solo show. Gaia Weiss is alone. Her character Lisa has no one to talk to, no one to plan with, no one to calm her down. Because she’s alone, and because there’s a deadline, she’s got no time to stop and wonder why this is happening, leaving us, the audience, to ponder those questions. And let me also add: This actress is a freaking trooper. Holy crap.

The second striking thing about this movie is how claustrophobic it is. I remember people giving up on The Descent (2005), because they just couldn't deal with the characters of that film squeezing their way through ever narrower tunnels. If you're one on those who felt that way, you will not make it through Meander.

And finally word to the wise: Don't expect Meander to wrap everything up in a nice, neat little package. Too much is going on for that to be possible or satisfying. And that really IS all I can safely say about Meander, lest I ruin the "fun".

Just watch it. You'll thank me later.