Bottom of the World is a twisted trip of a movie. It isn’t for everyone but if you’re ready to have an open mind, you’re in for a very interesting ride!

Bottom of the World stars Douglas Smith and Jena Malone with Ted Levine as the biggest supporting actor. With a cast like that, you have to know you’re in for a treat.

The story does ask something of its viewer. For one, you need to leave you phone alone and focus on actually watching the movie. There are lots of little clues and elements from one part of the story that you need to recognize elsewhere to keep up.

I personally love it, but you do have to be in a certain frame of mind. Bottom of the World isn’t just mindless entertainment. It is however very entertaining!

You can watch the trailer for Bottom of the World right here or continue reading our review below.

Brilliant casting for Bottom of the World

As already mentioned earlier, the cast of Bottom of the World is absolutely top notch. If this wasn’t the case, there is no way the more twisted and odd parts of this story would’ve worked.

You need actors that draw you in and keep you curious for this story to work.

Jena Malone is the key element in Bottom of the World, and I’ve adored her since she portrayed the child version of Jodie Foster in Contact (1997). She tends to switch between doing independent movies and big blockbuster films. You may remember her from Donnie Darko or The Neon Demon. But she was also in The Hunger Games trilogy and Batman v Superman.

Bottom of the World on Netflix

A different kind of movie

But really, Douglas Smith is the actual protagonist. We recently saw Douglas Smith in The Alienist and loved his portrayal. He has done quite a bit of horror in the past including Ouija and The Bye Bye Man. While you may know these movies and found them entertaining, they’re not exactly the most memorable movies.

Bottom of the World is an entirely different beast.

Ted Levine might be the biggest name for many horror fans, but his role in this movie is “only” that of the biggest supporting character. Of course, Ted Levine doesn’t require much screen time to leave an impact. After all, he played the characters I quote most from both Silence of the Lambs and Joy Ride. And he only did the voice part of a character for the latter.

Also, Ted Levine was in The Alienist with Douglas Smith though they didn’t really share any scenes.

Bottom of the World on Netflix

Drawn into the madness

The story of The Bottom of the World is by Brian Gottlieb and David Kowalski with Brian Gottlieb having written the script. This is the first credit for David Kowalski, who does have another project in post-production with The Last Girl. A movie he also wrote with Gottlieb who also directed.

The Bottom of the World was directed by Richard Sears. In the past, Sears has done mostly short films as a director, but this isn’t his feature film debut.

Even though The Bottom of the World didn’t hit all marks perfectly for me, I loved the acting and found myself completely drawn into the madness. There are issues with pace and too much repetition, but I do get why it was necessary for the story. And the distinct David Lynch vibe makes this movie a very interesting watch.

Bottom of the World is out on Netflix in most countries.


Director: Richard Sears
Writers: Brian Gottlieb, David Kowalski
Cast: Ted Levine, Jena Malone, Douglas Smith


The mysterious disappearance of a young woman leads her boyfriend on a journey for truth and perhaps his own unknown reality in this dark, hypnotic mystery that transcends the limitations of traditional narrative.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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