Remember the Vestal Virgins? Or were you as per usual not paying much attention during Latin class? If you had, you’d have known right away what the Vestalis Academy is all about. In that bleak boarding school, more Siberian gulag than Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, girls are being groomed for adoption. Our heroine Vivien has just turned 16 and is aching to get to know her new family. But then she’s reunited with an old friend who warns her about shady goings-on. What’s in the “vitamins” they’re given before bedtime and which basically knock them unconscious? Why do the injections being administered by the all too friendly doctor give them rashes? Why do they never get to see the light of day? And why do the leery guards only speak Russian?
Danishka Esterhazy, a Canadian filmmaker with a rather Magyar sounding name, has made a dystopian thriller for the MeToo generation. Fasten your seatbelts for a hair-raising plot, an impressive location, and eerie atmospherics. Peter Outerbridge (LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, SAW VI, MISSION TO MARS) is the mad scientist and Sara Canning (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES) his platinum blonde assistant.