Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Devil of Kreuzberg (2015)

Attention! Attention!: David Lynch, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci fans.

Step right up, eyes over here!: Art-house horror followers and devotees of the raw and interpersonal terror that ran rampant in 1970s-80s horror films.

I got a little something special for you...

I was recently contacted by Alex Bakshaev, director and producer of the independent film, The Devil of Kreuzberg. He kindly asked that I review his movie. After one look at the trailer (and taking into account that my horror tastes fall under all the categories listed above), I was more than happy to oblige. 

Let me start off by saying the soundtrack is phenomenal. Interwoven perfectly with the settings and actions, this completely stunning backdrop for the mind and ears is a work of art, folks. Work of art. So well done.

Speaking of the settings: they could not have been better chosen for the story. Dark, damp, cold, minimalist and maddening, it doesn't take long to realize that you are in a completely unfriendly environment that will quickly drag you into something akin to a drug-induced nightmare. 

Top it all off with great use of small cast, short but sweet dialog, and superb cinematography, one will soon feel lost and alone in a world built for monsters. The protagonist perfectly summed it up in one line: "I'm trapped in an endless nightmare".

I thoroughly enjoyed this film but I'm not sure it's for everyone. Especially not for those looking for logic, answers or clear and defining reasons. There really are no answers here, that's part of the horror of it all (see also the specific calls for attention listed above). 

Simply put: this is a shocking, strange, lovely, jarring and uncomfortable film. It should be enjoyed alone or in a very small, silent group. Your jaw will drop at times and your mind will probably need a moment to process what is happening. Be patient and understand that is exactly how you should react - it is all coming along swimmingly. My Husband asked me for suggested food and beverage pairings for this film and I actually struggled. It's a shorter film and your jaw will drop so ... perhaps a damp sandwich and tart shot of liquor will work well to set the right mood and atmosphere.

I feel it's important to add that the movie summary posted in IMDB might give you a strange initial reaction to this film, specifically the first two opening lines: "Linda and Jakob are happily in love until one night, Jakob begins to have horrific nightmares in which Linda appears as a darkly seductive creature. Tormented by these visions, Jakob asks his best friend Kurt to murder Linda for him, thus beginning a slow decent into madness." My first reactions to reading this: 

#1: Well THAT escalated quickly
#2: I think that whole 'decent into madness' thing was probably happening before the nightmares...
#3: Kurt must be some friend

Rest assured folks, insane as these initial lines sound, they are pivotal for the film. See also: there are no answers here, that's part of the horror of it all.

This film recently debuted in Berlin, Germany and I anticipate it will be making its rounds in the film festival circuit soon. So please keep your eyes open for it! You can learn more about Alex, his other projects, and The Devil of Kreuzberg here. I'll also post updates about future showings as I learn about them.

Now, the trailer (also on YouTube) to whet your appetite, enjoy!:

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