eXistenZ (1999)

logoDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe, Don McKellar, Callum Keith Rennie, Christopher Eccleston, Sarah Polley


Plot: A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: What is Real?


Story: eXistenZ starts by bringing us to a seminar where we learn that Allegra Geller (Leigh) is one of the best in the business and is the guest talker. We learn about eXistenZ and how it is new to the business of the game, we see how 12 lucky members get a chance to experience the new gaming experience with Allegra. After a gun man enters the seminar he shots Allegra while in the virtual reality world, leading to a shootout and Ted Pikul (Law) have to go on the run with her.

On the run Ted wants to call for help while Allegra wants to stay on the run, wanting to get back into the reality world Allegra was in. she has to find someone who will install a bio-port into Ted so he can join her and Gas (Dafoe) is just the man to do that. After getting locked out of her game it appears Allegra has a target on her back and she doesn’t know who to trust. To find out who is after her both Allegra and Ted go into her game where Ted enters a new reality he has never been into before.

eXistenZ is a film where you see who is directing and already know you are in for something different and slightly confusing. You don’t get let down and just like many of his others films we are left to questions reality and what is actually real. The film isn’t afraid to try and stick its middle finger up at you with its final moments making most of the film almost pointless but then brings it all back to being relevant again. This will test your mind and also play along to the inner gamer inside of you but if you are not a fan of Cronenberg’s work don’t even try to understand what happened. (7/10)


Actor Review


Jennifer Jason Leigh: Allegra Geller genius game designer whose new game is wanted by everyone, while people want to kill her before it gets released. She goes on the run with Ted before entering into the game to discover the truth. Jennifer gives a solid lead performance where we get a female lead in a male world. (7/10)


Jude Law: Ted Pikul trainee marketer who ends up playing the bodyguard for Allegra. He has never entered the virtual reality world before and once he does he has to help Allegra figure out what is going on. Jude does a solid job in the supporting role and really fits into the unknown role of virtual reality. (7/10)


Support Cast: eXistenZ has a supporting cast that all help the story unfold little by little.


Director Review: David Cronenberg – This is what you would expect from David, something confusing but also complete without feeding you the ending. (8/10)


Horror: eXistenZ really looks into the mind for its horror leaving us to question the characters reality. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: eXistenZ uses the sci-fi world of virtual reality games for its sci-fi elements very well. (8/10)

Settings: eXistenZ uses each setting to try and create the next level of the game and each one works well to try and throw us off what will happen next. (9/10)
Special Effects
: eXistenZ has a couple of unusual effects that come off well. (7/10)

Suggestion: eXistenZ is one to try, I don’t think it will appeal to everyone but if you are a fan of Cronenberg you will enjoy. (Try It)


Best Part: Makes you think.

Worst Part: If you don’t know Cronenberg you will find this too complicated.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $2.9 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Into your body, under your skin, beyond your senses


Overall: Cronenberg’s Matrix

Rating 70

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