Existenz - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Existenz Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2016
Built on a gripping atmosphere of mystery, this is an intriguing sci-fi thriller that pulls us deeper and deeper into a highly strange universe that leaves us always curious to know more about - even if after a while it doesn't take us much to see where it is going.
½ September 23, 2016
only gets half cos 0 doesn't work
August 14, 2016
- The game controllers look like small Siamese boobs with 3 nipples. And yes, they're flesh colored.
- The gun shoots human teeth. THAT's how it got past the metal detectors!
- They're eating takeout from "Perky Pete's".
- People can get fitted with a bioport. It's how the, uh, game plugs into people.
-The PR guy for the game company, oddly, doesn't have one. But he does have a Canadian accent. "Being penetrated freaks me oot."
- Also, the best line in the movie.
- IT'S WILLEM DAFOE! He's a gas station attendant who's name is...are you ready...Gas.
- And it just so happens that he also installs bioports. "I haven't crippled anyone yet!"
- "You have to play the game, to find out why you have to play the game."
- Oh, that's gross. I've said that aboot 6 times now.
- That's an interesting twist.
- That's ANOTHER interesting twist.
- Now THAT is an Irish Wolfhound. Also, an interesting way to hide a gun.

Wow. That was an 11 on the camp scale.
½ June 7, 2016
great movie! what is reality? and how you know that what you see now, where you are now is real? what if that all is just a game? what if all around you is not real? what is just your imagination??
April 30, 2016
A really weird sci fi horror film where David Cronenberg explores the limits between reality and the virtual world of videogames.
½ April 3, 2016
"eXistenZ" is original for its unalluring depiction of virtual reality and technology.
March 3, 2016
The usual "am I still dreaming" story with a bit of "I want to make Naked Lunch but don't have the talent" thrown in. Was kinda shit when it came down to it though.
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2016
It is not easy to guess what is coming in this movie. The premise is interesting - when does a game become so real that you have troubles distinguishing reality and a game. I did not think Cronenberg's version had much thought to it. Whenever the plot got boring, another layer got added.
½ February 15, 2016
As gooey and as weird as you'd expect from Kronenberg, ultimately the premise is frustrating as you don't know whether and where reality is.
February 14, 2016
Cronenberg's got some imagination. Very original movie.
½ February 3, 2016
Weird and wonderful stuff, a bit dated by today's standards, but well worth a view for Cronenberg fans.
February 2, 2016
"eXistenZ" is a bizarre, painstakingly trippy experience that sharpens the further it plunges into its labyrinthine web of machinations. Though a science fiction leaning thriller, it does not resemble the similar, more easily entertaining (though intrinsically stimulating) "The Matrix," released the same year. Written and directed by David Cronenberg, one of film's most onerous provocateurs, it proudly wears outlandish erraticism on its chest, by turns grotesque, darkly comedic, and beguilingly cerebral. It is the closest he has come to devising a mainstream sci-fi action movie, but, being more of a peer to the David Lynches of the film community than to the Michael Bays, we can't help but more often absorb what it has to intellectually and artistically offer, the effects of a suspenseful sequence hitting us at a far-off second.
It has a nifty premise to give meaning to its surreal hijinks. In "eXistenZ," Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as Allegra Geller, a video game designer in the process of releasing her newest creation, the eponymous virtual reality platform. As the film takes place in what can only be described as the near future, where game-makers are seen as artistic geniuses high above the 99%, Allegra is as important a figure as a world leader might be - she, along with few others, has refined a kind of video game so convincing in transporting its player into "another dimension" that the lines between reality and fantasy are spitefully blurred.
But Allegra's eXistenZ is still in the early stages of post-production, and, as the film opens, she is testing it out on an elite audience curious to see what she has to offer. The "screening," however, is interrupted by an assassin who tries to take her life, believing that her innovations in the entertainment industry will lead to the collapse of civilization itself. Though she only escapes with minor wounds, she worries about the future of her game, bringing innocent security guard Ted Pikul (Jude Law) along with her on a run for safety. Concerned that the "pod" containing all the data for her soon-to-be released creation may have been damaged in the bullet-ridden murder attempt, she convinces Ted to join her in entering eXistenZ to sort out any potential bugs. Their realities, though, may be affected in the procedure.
"eXistenZ" is offbeat in its satire and disarmingly serious in remittance to its screwy premise, and, like most other Cronenberg films, you either worship its quiddities or are unimpressed by them. As a critic who has gone for most of my reviewing career inclined to look the other way in response to Cronenberg's body horror based features ("Eastern Promises" is good, but "Dead Ringers" is vomit inducing"), "eXistenZ" makes for the first time in which his mutilations of what it means to be human have comprehensively drawn me in, on both a technical and artistic level.
Cronenberg gets just about everything right here. His (perhaps not so) far-fetched satirical view of media consumerism (often compared to his earlier "Videodrome," unseen by me) is sickening in its portrayal - in the future America depicted in the film, X-Boxes have been traded for what appear to be abnormally large, fleshy parasites, whose cords, looking rather umbilical, connect to ports located in the smalls of the player's back. Consumers don't sit in front of a screen and press a few buttons: they zone out and live in a fantasy world pre-programmed for them, so stupefyingly realistic that it comes as a shock when it turns out that other people in the artificial world only respond to dialogue when it is directly lifted from the script. At one point, Law's character briefly takes a break from eXistenZ and worriedly admits that reality no longer feels real - the faux one, it seems, has taken its place.
Cronenberg finds the time to spotlight the humor that can arise from such a ludicrous setting, but one of my favorite things about "eXistenZ" is its self-assuredness; so grandly outrageous is it that we initially find ourselves bombarded with questions to ask. Minutes later, though, do we come to accept Cronenberg's insanity, and the way Leigh and Law, top-shelf here, play it so straight that we applaud them for selling a hypothetical scenario that might otherwise come across as even being too moonstruck for a comic book. It's a strange, magnificent film, needed to be seen to be believed. Only Cronenberg could have made it, and that's a factor that makes its existence all the more unsurpassed.
January 25, 2016
Fast closing in on 20 years old and Existenz is more relevant than ever, although its style may be slightly out dated, the films themes and insane story line, make for some thought provoking and indeed entertaining cinema. In a not too distant future, famous computer game programmer Allegra Geller attends a play through of her new VR computer game eXistenZ, a game in which the player will virtually log into its world and play through the game with their very own eyes and minds. Although Allegra doesnt realize how much trouble she is in, when an attempt is made on her life and its left up to a PR geek, Ted Pikul, to escort her to safety and ensure the game remains operational. It would have been a cool premise in the late 90's during the dawn of a Matrix age, however David Cronenberg's CGI shy and psychotic thriller would be overshadowed by the latter, especially with stirring similarities to the the multi million box office smash, creating an unfair hype surrounding it. The truth is that Existez is a different beast, its darker, edgier and far more believable than The Matrix ever claimed to be. Its themes resonate in an age where people are attached to a virtual world 24/7, living their lives through coding and instant digital entertainment. Even the argument against this style of living is frighteningly accurate, its as if Cronenberg saw the future. Existenz boasts a great cast, passing off great ideas, in an exciting and unpredictable fashion, its easy to jump into as a slice of entertainment and thankfully their isnt any over loaded exposition, to halt proceedings. The film however does trip up from time to time, its a victim of a confused age, an age when life could head either way, this makes some of Existenz's design choices slightly jarring and although Cronenberg's over all body horror theme works, you cannot escape the glaringly hilarious occasional designs. The script also falters, although conveying a great concept, Existenz is the first script in over a decade that Cronenberg had written and it shows, its glaring similarities towards Video Drome have caused some to call it the unofficial sequel, but its main issues are with some painful dialogue, due to the over acted nature it can be forgivable, but there is no escaping the laughable and cheesy conversations our protagonists will encounter time and time again. Its nowhere near his best work, but Existez delivers and entertaining and thought provoking film, who's themes still hold up almost 20 years later.
January 16, 2016
Death to Allegra Gellar! All hail the genius David Cronenberg!
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2016
Occasionally interesting ideas can't salvage the predominantly shaky acting, relatively lifeless script & characters, and inappropriately pedestrian (& stylistically dull) form of direction in this film.
½ December 18, 2015
gr8 another lost review ty flixter-assholes!
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2015
Certainly not Cronenberg's best.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2015
Existenz is about what one would expect from a late nineties, low budget, Cronenberg film. The first half hour is poor but overall, the film redeems itself and delivers on modest expectations. We get imagination, both paranoid and grotesque, and an eerie vibe that grows more compelling as the film progresses.
½ September 30, 2015
Really like being stuck inside a fantastically realistic reality.
½ August 9, 2015
eXistenZ is dark, surreal, gross, and entertaining as hell.
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