Dir: Gaspar Noé
Cert: 18, 150 mins
Before the review, have a look at the title sequence… Although it made me feel sick from its relentless strobing, I adored this typographic hotchpotch, particularly the second segment…
Enter the Void is a hallucinatory nightmare set in the depths of Tokyo’s seedy underbelly. The two and a half hour feature is almost entirely set at night, and is all told from the point of view of Oscar, an American small-time drug dealer.
Twenty minutes into the film, Oscar is shot dead by the police. We experience what he sees as he leaves his body, looks back into his past and then floats uneasily above his traumatised circle, lingering in his afterlife.
It’s a startling array of neon hallucinations, horribly violent flashbacks, giddying strobe-effects and intense psychedelic bonking. Intermittently throughout the film, an aerial camera hovers above Tokyo’s grey streets, travelling through walls, giving the viewer an uncomfortable voyeuristic experience.
Enter the void is deeply upsetting and unpleasant, but it never feels like the director is just slinging bile at his audience (unlike Lars Von Triers’ ridiculous “Antichrist”). It is an utterly original work, and Gaspar Noé is a true innovator to have pulled off this concept. I left the cinema feeling that he had achieved everything he intended. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and some of the scenes relating to childhood trauma had me reduced to a gibbering wreck.