Blu-ray Review: LEVEL 16

LEVEL 16 was written and directed by Danishka Esterhazy and stars Katie Douglas, Celina Martin, Sara Canning, Kiana Madeira, Josette Halpert, Amalia Williamson and Peter Outerbridge.

Sixteen-year-old Vivien is trapped in The Vestalis Academy, a prison-like boarding school, keeping to herself and sticking her neck out for no one. Until she is reunited with Sophia — the former friend who betrayed her. Together the girls embark on a dangerous search to uncover the horrifying truth behind their imprisonment. Soon running for their lives, the girls must save themselves or die trying.

The story for this dystopian sci-fi thriller centers around Vivien (Katie Douglas) and Sophia (Celina Martin), two of many teenage girls that go to this mysterious prison-like boarding school that’s ran by Miss Brixil (Sara Canning) who teaches the girls the finer points of “feminine virtues”. The girls stay on a super strict daily regimen that consists of chores, school, stay clean, take their pills and go to bed – rinse and repeat. There’s also Dr. Miro (Peter Outerbridge), the school’s “nice guy” doctor who oversees the girl’s health and a figure Vivien briefly puts her trust in. Of course, looks can be deceiving!

What happens is, Vivien ends up rebelling when she finds out what happens to them once they get “adopted” by one of the school’s sponsors and it’s a terrifying discovery. Without going into too much detail, this school is actually farm that caters to the rich and these girls have been dumbed down (mind control and brainwashing) so they don’t suspect anything. Vivian and Sophia try to warn the other girls but find it hard to get through to them at first but they finally find a way to wake the rest of them up and risk everything in their escape from this nightmarish trap.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Level 16 ended up being a well-executed dystopian sci-fi thriller that features an all female cast, except for a few male bad guys. I’m kind of burnt out on the hate-filled feminist movement where certain filmmakers just push their agenda and bash all male species. With that said, I thought Danishka Esterhazy handled it just right and delivered an interesting story and an entertaining film that features this young female cast. I thought they did a great job with their characters and you better keep your eyes on Katie Douglas because she might be the next big thing. Maybe? I think so! The concept had elements of 1984, The Stepford Wives, Dollhouse and even The Twilight Zone, if that helps any. Danishka Esterhazy has painted a grey picture and created this dystopian world of little or no hope for these teenage girls who wake up to the truth and ultimately rebel against their oppressors. Level 16 will be available on Blu-ray on April 30th.

Distributor: Dark Sky Films

Run Time: 102 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, ten interviews and official trailer.

  • Making of Level 16 Featurette (05:02)
  • Interviews with Cast and Crew (10:48)
  • Official Trailer (01:21)

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