New Horror Releases: Lordess of the Flies: Ladyworld (2019) - Reviewed

After a cataclysmic environmental event, a batch of teenage girls are stranded inside a building left to fend for themselves. With no electricity and bare resources, the eight girls regress into split factions, with teenage rivalries unraveling at an amplified pace. As their future becomes bleaker and things quickly turn dark, they start to descend into a strange and surreal madness that's reliant on their strong dramatic skillset and a creative connection between the group of young women. Sadly though, the loose story telling here fails to impress even as the cast puts on an ethereal, claustrophobic play. 

Loosely based on The Lord of The Flies, this updated female led version of the classic story starts off mysterious, but ends up devolving into a cinematic mishap with no real narrative and an eccentric mood that feels more indie art film than truly defined drama or horror. This is not another straight adaptation of the classic story, but is more so a loose retelling that skips story structure and character development for a test of its audience's patience. Unevenly paced with a strange score that never stops, Ladyworld never really goes anywhere other than to show us the true human nature of young women when forced into rivalry. 


This literally feels like a project that had no real focus. Or it went into production with little thought put into the underwhelming script. With newer talents like Maya Hawke taking lead, Ladyworld plays out like an independent stage show or possibly an acting class put to film. There's just nothing to latch on to or to sink our teeth into. It's one of those projects that seems to force feed force an arthouse aesthetic (which is fine) but doesn't have anything real to say. Yes, there are the continued themes of desperation, angst, and full on anarchy. But, the film never really gets any momentum, rarely causing any targeted tension or true dynamism. 

Ladyworld was a blind watch for me. Having never heard of it, there were no  expectations or preconceived notions of what I was getting myself in to. This one is about as independent as it gets. Unfortunately, director Amanda Kramer has a little growing to do in the full length feature department. With a resume of short features behind her, it seems that she potentially jumped into something she might not have been prepared for yet, a ninety minute excursion into the depths of the human psyche. As a fan of all things disastrous or terrifying in cinema, interest was piqued at an artier version of Flies, but this one falls very short of being great. 

Perhaps, others will see something in this movie that I didn't. It has won several awards on the festival circuit and seems to be an indie darling. I failed to understand the positive reviews being thrown at this thing. 

If you're looking for something tonally confused, you can check out Ladyworld when it hits home video on August 27th.