(Maya Hawke, Ariela Barer, Ryan Simpkins, Odessa Adlon, Annalise Basso, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)
Overview: Eight teenage girls become trapped in an endless birthday party after a massive (imaginary?) earthquake.
The girls' sanity and psyches dissolve as they run out of food and water. Eventually, they regress to their baser instincts, exploiting each other's fears and insecurities.
This critically acclaimed thriller features a great cast that includes Maya Hawke (Stranger Things), Ariela Barer (Runaways), Annalise Basso (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man) and Odessa Aldon (Nashville).
DVD Verdict: My goodness! This low-budget, single-setting feature debut of theatre veteran Amanda Kramer (which has already been quoted in the same reminisces of an all-female 'Lord of the Flies') plays out in a rather disturbing way; so much so two of those watching it in my front room got up and left halfway through (the tension got to them both!).
Brought forth as the aftermath of a natural disaster coupled with an overflow of young girl adolescence as the tension on screen builds, the need for answers build, the dense, dank isolation grows (all the windows are suddenly covered by dirt), 'Ladyworld' starts to exhibit and showcase a most surreal and savage emotive display from its characters.
I mean, let's not beat about the bush here for 'Ladyworld' is a very disturbing film that gets into the ugliness of humanity. When the lights go out and food runs short, our suppressed inner selves start to come out and with eight teenage girls all coupled together in an "unknown shelter", well, it's only a matter of time before hot and sweaty teen angst rises to the top.
Opening with a black screen and the sounds of crashing and crumbling, the scene is set, even if we cannot physically see it that for ourselves. But, as we soon discover, Eden’s (Atheena Frizzell) party has been interrupted by shaking walls and falling chandeliers.
After finding the doors and windows blocked, the friends somewhat reluctantly elect a leader to oversee their time in limbo. The calculating Piper (Annalise Basso) wants the job, but the more pragmatic Olivia (Ariela Brady) narrowly emerges victorious, although loner Romy (Maya Hawke, 'Stranger Things 3') proposes that the whole notion is unnecessary ("Nobody needs to be in charge if everyone has a knife.")
Trying to act "normal" they spend time rather harmoniously eating birthday cake for breakfast and singing songs, but with no wi-fi or cell tower connections, all that is short-lived once a "figure" is spotted inside the house with them!
Or was it? As all sense of certainty dissipates, the now overly-make-up'd, lipstick-smeared girls swiftly splinter into factions and their already fragile mindsets begin to shatter. Their setting becomes a battleground and soon all hell has broken loose between them.
With an eerie score (that's admittedly a wee bit too loud at times), there are definitely a few mysteries to keep you wondering about various things here, and with a cast of characters who are unlikable in their own precious way, 'Ladyworld' will make you uncomfortable through to the very end! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: