Connect with us

Film Review

STANLEYVILLE (2022) Review

Neil reviews Oscilloscope Laboratories’ STANLEYVILLE, coming to the big screen across the US from April 22, 2022.



Stanleyville (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Oscilloscope Laboratories presents Stanleyville in cinemas from April 22, 2022.


One fine day, prim and proper Maria decides to unceremoniously walk away from her boring job, her inept husband, and her obnoxious daughter. Moments after doing so, she’s invited to participate in a bizarre and—as it turns out—potentially very dangerous sweepstakes contest, the rules of which are seemingly unknown to even its organizers, competing with a collection of idiosyncratic characters for the chance to win true enlightenment… and one slightly used habanero-orange compact sport utility vehicle. Dark as night and deadpan hilarious, with every fresh escalation progressing according to a warped logic that makes perfect (non)sense. 


To experience film is often to explore the idea of the human condition. So many of the stories we assimilate have a basic purpose: to understand who we are and the journeys we each go often. Often those journeys are masked by fantastical elements and huge scale productions. But at the core, all filmmakers are simply seeking the answer to their own questions.

With Stanleyville, writer-director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos and co-writer Rob Benvie are taking a more quirky approach. The film opens in the most unconventional of ways. Bored housewife Maria (Susanne Wuest) is disturbed by a bird crashing in to the window of her office. She returns home to her cold, emotionless family and makes a life-changing decision to abandon who she is.

Leaving behind her unfulfilling life, Maria meets a mysterious man (Julian Richings) who offers the chance to take part in a competition. With the potential prize of a new car, Maria is enticed after being told she has been chosen out of millions to take part. Arriving at an unknown location, Maria meets her fellow competitors including Andrew Frisbee Jr. (Christian Serritiello), Felicie Arkady (Cara Ricketts).

The competition starts innocently, the first challenge is to pop as many balloons as possible in 60 seconds using only their breath. It’s comical and disarming for the audience, playing in to the films lighter elements. As the challenges continue the level of absurdity escalates but so too does the uneasiness.

Stanleyville strikes a remarkable balance between its comedic and darker elements. The film never fully fulls back from its focus on character. There are no outside world consequences. No search by Maria’s family to find their missing wife and mother. In something akin to Big Brother we continue to watch the surviving contestants as they exist in this warehouse over a number of days.

Despite Wuest’s compelling performance and McCabe-Lokos’ direction, Stanleyville isn’t a razor sharp as other films in the genre. At 89 minutes, the film feels a little bloated in its second act. The multitude of challenges, despite entertaining, only prolong the journey to the film’s rewarding conclusion.


Stanleyville is an off-the-wall, quirky comedy. It’s twisted look at the human condition is perhaps better suited to a shorter runtime but director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos has nevertheless created an entertaining experience.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Trending is a property of Get Your Comic On Ltd. © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies/owners.