Short Film Review: Next Floor (2008)

Before he gained mainstream popularity and acclaim with films like Incendies (2010) and Prisoners (2013), Denis Villeneuve directed a short film titled Next Floor. 

In the short, a group of presumably high-class individuals ravenously dine on numerous meat dishes, provided by a full waiting staff, in what appears to be an otherwise abandoned building. After some time eating, strange events begin to take place, but the diners simply carry on eating with not a care in the world. 

Clearly, the short is absolutely drenched in symbolism; it may not be very grounded in reality, but it ultimately doesn’t need to be. The basis itself begs to be analyzed and dissected for some sort of deeper meaning, and that’s what makes it such an enjoyable short — it’s extremely open to interpretation, and will mean different things to different people. 

Without this review becoming an explanation or analysis, there are still plenty of strong themes that are worth mentioning. Gluttony and greed are very present, as is the concept of ‘biting off more than you can chew.’

Stylistically, the short has a very uneasy and surreal tone throughout. The occasional crash zoom adds to the strange feel, and the food being eaten manages to look both delicious and repulsive at the same time. Contrasting this unease is the oddly humorous quality of the plot on the surface. 

If you’re a fan of Villeneuve’s, enjoy absurdist and surreal media, or just want an interesting and thought-provoking short, I highly recommend checking out Next Floor.

Overall rating: 9/10

Published by Jeremy Bader

Aspiring writer, film and music lover, drummer.

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