High Rise is an excellent apocalyptic science fiction novel, written in an era when the genre enjoyed exploring the psychological and psychedelic. J.G Ballard is not as renowned as Philip K. Dick or Kurt Vonnegut, but he had his own brand of SF to offer.
Film buffs will most likely know of another adaptation from his work, Empire of the Sun. That was based on Ballard’s memoir as a kid in a wartime prison camp, an experience that taught him stability is an illusion. You can very quickly lose everything you have.
This coloured his novels and High Rise is one of Ballard’s best. It’s Lord of the Flies meets A Clockwork Orange meets Desperate Housewives in a 40 storey building. It’s the apocalypse in a can.
This new trailer captures that vibe quite well:
The writer of this /Film post heaps a lot of praise on the movie:
High-Rise is a real trip, as the trailer promises. The film’s tone ranges from cartoonish to sorrowful, but it’s never at odds with itself. Wheatley’s film is a cleanly told mess, if that makes sense.
The Guardian is less flattering:
It’s not a disaster, but the faults stack up. It took nearly 40 years for High-Rise to make it to big screen. After all that time, this is a bit of a dog’s dinner.
It seems to be a divisive film. But High Rise definitely looks interesting.
HIGH-RISE stars Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Moss); and Mr. Royal (Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war. HIGH-RISE is the latest film by cult British director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England), an ambitious adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name.
Last Updated: March 17, 2016