top of page



average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Dec 8, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Gem Deger
Written by:
Gem Deger, Morris Stuttard
Gem Deger, Austin Chunn, Issy Stewart

It’s borderline impossible to summarise Playdurizm in anything less than a thesis. This LGBT, synth-drenched sci-fi horror thriller mystery is ruthlessly gory, unapologetically scandalous and effortlessly cool – if outright baffling and confusing for large parts of its runtime. One thing’s for sure – it leaves one hell on an impression.


When Demir (director Gem Deger) awakens in a trashed, extravagant dream house, he has a sense that something is seriously off in the world. When Andrew (Austin Chunn), an adonis of a man claims to be Demir’s best friend, the strange unrecognised world feels a little more appealing to Demir. But Andrew’s psychotic girlfriend Drew (Issy Stewart) makes it her business to stand between the pair. But Andrew’s desires are more complex, and might be more than either of them can provide.


Playdurizm is clearly the product of a defined vision from director and star Gem Deger – and qhat a vision it is. The world we see is tuned to the max – filled with over-the-top sex, violence, extravagant characters, memorable music and visuals and a story that ricochets from intriguing, charming, horrifying and traumatising. It is not a film for the faint of heart, and its horror extends far beyond buckets of blood and brandishing of knives. Psychological torture is imbued throughout the film, and a pivotal scene of rape towards the story’s end may be too much for unsuspecting audiences. Viewer discretion very much advised.


But this overabundance of brutality should not dissuade willing viewers from what is a bold and memorable experience. The ambiguous dynamic between Demir and Andrew is a fascinating heart to Demir’s exploration of his strange new world, which feels alive, pulsating and vibrant. It seems to be Gem Deger’s personal goal to make sure that no viewer feels they can take their eyes off screen for even a second – lest they miss an unexpected twist in reality or a shocking new demonstration of sex, violence or depravity.


This certainly can result in sensual overload at points, and the plot becomes muddled at parts in lieu of interpretive storytelling and experimental artistic expression. Multiple viewings are likely to be required to decode the story – whether audiences are willing to commit to this depends on personal preference. The director deserves praise for sticking to their vision, and originality is always welcome in filmmaking. But be prepared for a WTF-heavy watch.


There’s an ‘uncanny valley’ feel to many of the film’s performances. Gem Deger’s Demir is our grounded entry into the film, who’s amnesia allows the viewer to emphasise with his confusion at the world around him. Issy Stewart’s Drew and Christopher Hugh James Adamson’s Jeremy are the most disturbing and unnerving characters he encounters – and the first hint that not all is as it seems. But it is Austin Chunn who, by design, is the film’s most mercurial, complex and interesting star. Andrew is the paradoxical object of Demir’s desires – part Chris-Evans-lookalike dreamboat with a clear caring side, part toxic, manipulative and deadly purveyor of twisted violence. The chemistry the leading pair share makes becoming invested in the unpredictable dance between the two that runs throughout the film impossible to resist.


Playdurizm is an unforgettable, fearless watch. It’s unusual style of storytelling will confuse some viewers, and the abundance of graphic sex and violence may put off others. But it’s cinematic quality can’t be denied.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Theatrical Release, Digital / DVD Release, Indie Feature Film, LGBTQ+
bottom of page