Bleak, harrowing and oddly riveting are some of the words that would not only describe today’s maiden clip for Ben Wheatley’s new thriller High-Rise, but also the director’s entire catalogue. As the creative genius behind such efforts as Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England, the British director is enjoying a remarkable streak as he establishes himself as one Hollywood director we daren’t take our eyes off.
Based on JG Ballard’s dark and dystopian novel of the same name, High-Rise revolves around a grand and luxurious tower block in London, England. Housing a cross-section of society in every sense, today’s first teaser hints at the underlying tension bubbling between its occupants and the class disparity that divides them.
Tom Hiddleston’s Dr. Laing acts as the leading character, who checks in to the titular building in the hope of turning over a new leaf, but Laing’s morally sound intentions are soon put to question when the lights go out in the tower block – extinguishing any societal norm along with them. Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss all co-star in the dark, claustrophobic thriller.
Asked about the tone and aesthetic of the thriller, Wheatley claimed that High-Rise is “going to be modern in a way that the 70s looked … back then they had a real idea of what the future was going to be like, and it was much more stylish.”
High-Rise has been slated for a UK release on March 11, 2016, and though Wheatley’s dark picture appeared at TIFF (check out our review here), it’s still on the search for a US distributor.
1975. Two miles west of London, Dr. Laing moves into his new apartment seeking soulless anonymity, only to find that the building’s residents have no intention of leaving him alone. Resigned to the complex social dynamics unfolding around him, Laing bites the bullet and becomes neighbourly. As he struggles to establish his position, Laing’s good manners and sanity disintegrate along with the building. The lights go out and the elevators fail but the party goes on. People are the problem. Booze is the currency. Sex is the panacea.