Level 16 (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Community Rating: 0.00% (0) - No Community Ratings Submitted (Add Yours Below)

This post may contain affiliate links and spoilers. Please read our disclosure policy.

Level 16 could be used to talk about feminism and autonomy but from an entertainment perspective? It’s a bit of a bore.

Director(s) Danishka Esterhazy
Written By Danishka Esterhazy
Date Released 3/1/2019
Genre(s) Drama
Good If You Like Films Which Have A Lukewarm Message You Could Expand On
Isn’t For You If You Aren’t Trying To Write A Feminist Dissertation and Just Want To Be Entertained
Noted Cast
Ms. Brixil Sara Canning
Dr. Miro Peter Outerbridge
Vivien Katie Douglas
Sophia Celina Martin
Alex Vladimir Tsyglian
Ava Alexis Whelan

Level 16 Plot Summary

Somewhere in Belarus is a school for young ladies that grooms them to be the perfect docile girls. However, one by one, they learn their school, Vestalis, may not be as Ms. Brixil and Dr. Miro make it seem. Leading two girls, Vivien and Sophia, to not only search for the truth but a means of escape.



You Could Find Deeper Meaning If You Wanted To

Ms. Brixil (Sara Canning) talking to Vivien
Ms. Brixil (Sara Canning)

Level 16 has all that is required to present an article on feminism. We have young girls, from their childhood, indoctrinated about purity, being docile, and waiting for a savior. On top of that, female friendships are weakened, and distrust is sowed to keep women from forming bonds that could disturb the system. Also, once the secret of Vestalis’ operation is revealed, you could speak on how men create and reinforce ideals that are impossible for women to live up to, and how women reinforce that.

All of the above and more could be made into full-length think pieces that could bolster this film into more than some may see it as.

On The Fence

This Film Is So Dull

But, while someone could try to drum up this film and make it seem profound, I won’t. Why? Because this film was too dull to go on such a tangent. Most of the girls, besides Sophia, Vivien, perhaps Ava, lack a storyline or personality to make them identifiable. Following that, story-wise, there aren’t huge shocks that compensate for the sections of the film dealing with giving us background or showing the day-to-day of the girls.

Now, don’t get me wrong, in terms of world-building, Vestalis’ is fleshed out in terms of look, procedures, and the goal of the facility. However, neither Dr. Miro nor Ms. Brixil are written or performed in such a way to make the mystery or the truth all that interesting. Which, sadly, is something you can say about the girls as well. For even with the girls we named, they don’t bolster the deeper meanings you can derive from the film. At least in such a way that makes Level 16 feel memorable.


Mixed (Divisive) | Purchase, Rent, Get Tickets, or Merchandise On (Amazon)

Sophia (Celina Martin) reacting to the truth.
Sophia (Celina Martin)

Level 16 lacks the characters and the writing it needs to fully take advantage of the concepts presented. As noted, you can see so many bits of commentary on how girls are raised and how women are subjected to unrealistic standards. There is even the issue of women willingly assisting men in continuing a cycle of oppression either for approval or due to indoctrination. If not the recognition that the closest they can get to being empowered is by oppressing their own on behalf of their oppressor.

Yet, even with saying all that, this is a solid mixed title. It had potential and wasted it by keeping things very surface level and consistently hinting it could go further, but deciding that might require a bit too much effort. So, like many films, it seems to have left potential fans to find the deeper meaning and push the idea Level 16 is better than it is.

Follow Wherever I Look on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

Level 16 Ending Explained

How Does Level 16 End?

Vivien discovers the truth about what has been her home for 16 years,

Big picture: Vestalis is a company run by Dr. Miro who is a surgeon. One who takes the skin of young women like Vivien and Sophia and puts it on older women. Hence why the girls never go outside, have to take pills that only make them active 5 or so hours a day, must sleep on their backs, and have a skincare regime when they are less than 10. That combination, alongside filtered air, keeps them looking young until their skin can be removed.

However, multiple issues lead to the end of Dr. Miro’s practice. First and foremost, taking care of at least 20 girls is expensive, even with some eastern European mob financing and providing security. Second, while the girls are forced to separate if they get close to one another, Vivien and Sophia end up bonding. Add in the security detail is trash, to the point the half-blind Sophia can overpower them, so begins the fall of Dr. Miro’s house of cards.

For with Sophia getting Vivien a security card, Vivien keeping herself awake long enough to save Sophia, fight Ms. Brixil, and even help save the other girls? Things end quite quickly and easily. That is despite the facility having at least 5+ floors! But with only a handful of people working security – and no one checking the cameras, what do you expect? Add in the likes of Alex, the only named guard, having a bit of a limp and not being that strong, the majority of the girls leave the building with ease.

The only exceptions are Vivien and Sophia, who hold themselves up in a security office. An office Dr. Miro tries to coax them out of, but with it becoming clear Dr. Miro lost control of the operation and has lost the mob a lot of money, they kill him and move on. Leaving Sophia and Vivien to be discovered by the cops the next morning and seemingly getting their freedom.

Does Level 16 Have Sequel Potential?

Sophia (Celina Martin) and Vivien (Katie Douglas) when discovered by police.
Sophia (Celina Martin) and Vivien (Katie Douglas)

Kind of? Considering the girls were trained to integrate into families yet never learned to read or write, a sequel could show their transition into what is considered a normal life.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How much did it cost for a skin transplant?
  2. In what way was Vivien punished as a kid? They can’t harm the skin so what did they do to her?
  3. The project was going on for at least 3 years, so how much money has the mob put into that operation?
  4. Considering Dr. Miro bought all the children, how much did their parents sell them for?
  5. How were the girls getting their periods handled considering they were up for less than ¼ a day?
  6. Was Vestalis a former prison or mental hospital?

Follow Wherever I Look on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.


You Could Find Deeper Meaning If You Wanted To - 80%
This Film Is So Dull - 70%


Level 16 had potential and wasted it. All just by keeping things very surface level and consistently hinting it could go further, but deciding that might require a bit too much effort. So, like many films, it seems to have left potential fans to find the deeper meaning and push the idea Level 16 is better than it is.

What Would Your Rating Be?


  1. I loved this movie! I don’t exactly agree with everything the author of this article is saying, however, it did leave some questions people may be wondering about unanswered. I’d like to see a sequel, if i’m being honest.

  2. The author of this “review” seemed to struggle to string a coherent sentance together, nevermind have the ability to apply deeper meaning. Haha.

  3. Yeah, a man wrote this article lmao…. of course he said “if you’re not into feminism, its not a good movie”, all I read in this article is someone who is tired of death of the author or making personal relation between a piece of work and yourself. “I won’t make this film more meaningful than it is” aka I won’t make the effort to apply meaning that’s too subtle or not shoved down my throat. Critical thinking??? *buzzer noise*, next.

  4. When they were escaping one of them said she was going to wake up the girls on the lower level. Were there different ages of girls on different levels? Or just that one group? Did they all get out?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.