A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sometimes trying your best isn't enough. It's important to have courage and persevere, though accept that some things are out of your control. Love continues even after death.
Positive Role Models
Lisa is smart and quickly learns the way the game works within the tunnels. She loses hope at some moments, but perseveres, showing courage and an ability to stay calm and in control under pressure. She is haunted by the death of her daughter, and feels great guilt, but is also able to put this in perspective in acknowledging when visions are real or conjured.
Lead character is a woman, and is strong and smart, though is dressed in a tight-fitting outfit and forced to make her way through a series of torturous tunnels -- placed in the position of victim almost as soon as she comes on-screen. The only two human characters are White. Sole male character portrayed as a predatory criminal.
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Violence & Scariness
Mention of stabbings on radio. References to death of daughter and visions of the event. Character implies they want to end their own life. Physical fight and attempted stabbing in car. Hitting, kicking, strangling. Character is kidnapped and wakes up in captivity, trapped in a box. Dead bodies seen, including one heavily decomposed, with skin sliding off, bones snapping, and innards seen close-up, as well as squelching noises for added gore. Gas is pumped into a chamber and fire blasts through, burning a character alive. Another nearly drowns. A knee is burned with acid and the wound is shown close up with blisters. Character passes out. Hand severed from body, fingers severed from hand, and toes severed from foot. Character crawls under barbed metal, resulting in deep cuts with oozing blood. Scary monster-like creature and robotic skull.
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Language includes "a--hole," "s--t," and "bitch," as well as "f--k" and "s--t," in French, and the middle finger gesture.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Meander is a gory French horror film about a woman who is abducted and forced to make her way through a series of dangerous tunnels with traps inside that often injure her and threaten her life. There is strong gore in places, including severed parts of the body, deep cuts gushing with blood, and decomposing corpses. Death of a child is mentioned and their death replayed in a vision. Dialogue is in English and French with English subtitles, including strong language such as "f--k" and "s--t" in French, and "a--hole," "s--t," and "bitch" in English. The lead female character, Lisa (Gaia Weiss), is strong and smart, but she's also dressed in a skin-tight outfit, is placed in a familiar role of victim, and tortured for the audience's amusement. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For all its twists and turns, flashes of backstory, and sci-fi elements, it's hard to forget we're still watching an attractive woman in a skin-tight outfit try to survive various violent/gory traps. Thankfully said traps in Meander are well executed -- owing much to Weiss's impressive acting in a fairly limited role -- and the atmosphere is disorientating and claustrophobic. Though the gore feels unnecessary in places, again, it's handled with skill -- to the point where you can almost smell a decomposing corpse as it squelches in Lisa's hands. Sci-fi/afterlife elements attempt to elevate the material, but end up confusing matters and taking away from the central premise -- and perhaps that's where a new angle would have been beneficial. Still, the runtime is tight and between the visceral sound design and the inventive settings this makes for an intense and immersive, if formulaic, addition to the genre.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.