eXistenZ (1999)

Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in David Cronenberg's most ambitious film yet! Trainee Ted Pikul must deliver a powerful video game developer to safety after her life is threatened at the unveiling of her newest virtual-reality platform, eXistenZ. The two must enter the gaming world in order to unlock the secrets behind the assassination plot and save eXistenZ. Cronenberg returns to his Body Horror roots, recalling many of the same themes and twisted visuals that he had created in VIDEODROME. The gaming system, itself, is an organic extension of the user's own nervous system, plugging directly into the spinal column. When the game is engaged, the players are able to bend the reality of the system and interact with each other outside of the game mechanics. At the same time, the characters they have plugged themselves into have their own will and desires, which cause them to act out of instinct in direct contradiction to the player's personality. This schizophrenic framing makes it impossible to distinguish virtual reality from actuality, but it is this same deconstruction of reality that serves as the film's driving force. Cronenberg manages to create his own unique and self-contained universe once again, where brain and body merge with the machine in a virtual nightmare. The mind-blowing plot twists and fast-paced action make this a fresh and exciting addition to the Cyber Punk trend, where it joins EQUILIBRIUM and THE MATRIX as three of the most innovative films of the late 90's.

Rating: 9/10.

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  1. Re-watched this one the other day and I still love the hell out of it.

    Jude Law plays his character with such naivete, its crazy, he was perfect for playing Pykul, awesome name by the way.

    Willem Defoe steals the show if you ask me, he plays his character so demented! Love that scene where he is about to implant the port into Pykul, and Pykul is all unsure about it.

    Jennifer Jason Leigh was awesome, she played her character with a dark edge to it.

    That scene in the pod factory with the frong creatures? Twisted!

    The scene in the chinese restaurant? With the bone gun scene? Insane!

    Loved this movie because it shows us things and situations we would have never imagined had they not come out of Cronenbergs unique imagination. Great movie.

  2. I was mesmerized in the opening scene when they begin playing with the bio pods, so friggin strange and surreal, pure Cronenberg. Willem Defoe was great but its too bad he was cut desperately short, I was hoping he would be taking the lead throughout the rest of the film. The worst part for me was counting down the minutes until 1:30:00 mark, because I wanted the film to just keep going and never end!

  3. I haven't seen this since it was in theaters! A re-watch is in order. The bone-gun scene was amazing. Howard Shore's moody score is fantastic as well.