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Inspired by real events, five friends struggle to cope with their frustrations and are compelled to violence as Weltstadt, a once-popular tourist spot, falls onto hard times following the reunification of Germany.
A rainy night. Dazed and numb, Luz, a young cabdriver, drags herself into the brightly lit entrance of a run-down police station. In a nightspot, Nora seductively engages police psychiatrist Dr. Rossini in a conversation. She tells the Doctor about her old schoolmate Luz' rebellious past at a Chilean school for girls. Nora is possessed by a demonic entity, longing for the woman it loves - Luz. Increasingly drunk on both alcohol and Nora's story, Rossini turns into easy prey. When called to the police station, the now demonically revived doctor puts Luz in a state of hypnosis, supervised by his colleagues, commissioner Bertillon and her translator Olarte. Luz recalls the events predating her arrival at the police station. But the entity that has taken control of the doctor wants something more. Bit by bit it slips into Luz' reenactment and makes old memories come to light.
Not the easiest film to find, I'd wanted to watch this for a while after the trailer did what all good trailers should do. I'm hooked to start, with a opening shot that's held uncomfortably long, ambitious considering the overall thrifty run time. It's stark with a retro grade and worn VHS look. The minimal aesthetic really appeals, but there's something missing, there's very little warmth or investment in the characters, with a palatable dirt on screen that permeates everything. For all the tension being ramped, the grime, the editing, the hyper scripted dialogue, it all slowly pulls apart. Despite it's stunted plot of a devilish nature and generally undesirable characters, there are some pluses. The score being one, reminiscent of an 80s slasher flick, it's definitely the films strongest asset. The European art house feel makes it feel cinematic, intentionally confusing in nature. Scenes built around slow creeping shots, almost entirely on one set, with often inactive people, waiting. Director Tillman Singer clearly has a thing for Lynch. As things progress it does manage to find its feet, with a second act reminiscent of a small theatre play, time frames overlapping, lines twisting through their own narrative into others, it's wonderfully bonkers, albeit a tad overplayed. It's all precursor to a truly off the wall finale, that although ambitious, really just doesn't work and ends in a bit of a disjointed mess. It really doesn't live up to its trailer, but I'm still pleased I gave it a go.
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