Starring: Jan Bijvoet, Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval, Tom Dewispelaere, Eva Van de Wijdeven, Annet Malherbe, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Alex Van Warmerdam,
Plot:A vagrant enters the lives of an arrogant upper-class family, turning their lives into a psychological nightmare in the process.
My Review and Thoughts:
A perfectly dark psychological thriller. A twisted style horror film. A weird unique and very original film. Quite shocking on its disturbing nature. Really intense and twisted in spots. I felt its matter of fact approach to violence and its unknown plot and storyline on where it was going was pure genius. Jan Bijvoet is absolutely brilliant as the mysterious Borgman. His intensity and ultimate persona creates in the viewer a simplicity but also a dark natured and unrelenting reality brought to life brilliantly by Jan Bijvoet.
This is an utterly fascinating cinematic experience something I have never seen done before, confusing as hell, weird, bizarre, hallucinogenic and yet woven into a pattern of an unexplainable jigsaw puzzle of a plot. Dynamic characters that are so mysterious they don't make sense yet that's the beauty of the film. The movie is something never been done before. The artistry, the macabre almost unbelievably grotesque humor and outcome is strange. I swear I think I was dropping acid or at least the whole movie was a fever dream. Unless you have seen this movie, it's something that is hard to explain. It's something that is hard to comprehend into a review. Psychological hilarious at times. A mind screw. Utterly amazing cinematography. The screenplay is beyond words. The direction is magical. The acting is extraordinary through the motions, the blank, almost emotionless glares, reactions of a brick wall. The persona of each of the main players or at least Borgman and his family are purely unique.. A nightmare macabre fever dream of a fairytale. An extraordinary folk lore, urban legend strangeness that bleeds off the screen into something totally beyond words and comprehending or explaining what the film is about.
Now if you know your German folk lore, which I'm pretty sure most people won't, but if you do then you can see the similarities between the German folk lore stories of the ALP. What is the ALP? It is a creature that is likened to a vampire but it's not the kind a vampire that sucks the blood in all cases, it will suck the blood from men's nipples and children. This creature is more or less always male and what it does is attacks the female in the night by hovering over them creating horrible nightmares and the creature sits on the sleeper’s chest and becomes heavier until the crushing weight awakens the terrified and breathless dreamer, most of the time the victim awakes unable to move.
Now in the movie you get a sense of this reality, this German folklore, this fairytale reality. Something also in the legend is they shape shift and in the movie it hints on that a little bit where they are suggested into changing, into greyhound dogs.
To be honest I had passed this movie up many times. until I read a fellow film critics blog entry.Like all film critics we don't always agree on what movies are good and bad but I have to say I am thankful I followed the advice and recommendation of this film. He stirred me toward a dark insanity of perfection with this film.
What's really cool is the director and writer himself is also a star in the movie playing one of the mysterious members of the Nomad style clan. Alex Van Warmerdam plays the character of Ludwig. Alex is a brilliant writer, director and actor and he created something utterly extraordinarily fascinating with such a jigsaw puzzle, that it leaves a twisted unrelenting reality. Also Alex's real wife is a main character in the film named Brenda who is another member of the clan. The whole cast come together to create something oddly original and stunningly vibrant with all forms of mastery.
Possibly one of the most hauntingly original, nightmarishly modern-day mysterious mind screws ever done. Masterpiece of psychological horror.