[MOTEL/x '17]Snuff movie with 'quality' cinematography.The misogyny is served in super-sized & Fritzlian portions. The golden rule of the Horror/Terror genre: abduct, beat up, manipulate, rape, treat women like sub-humans/cattle, then sit your butt & wait up for the standing ovations, the 5-star ratings, the awards' golden shower +the praise for the 'courage' to tackle "unexplored cinematic territory". *Vomits* ZÉRO.
The subtext is what really matters: real estate in Berlin vs. Melbourne. The true scary part is that Shortland's film is a pro-gentrification manifesto. An empty building in Berlin inevitably breeds psychopaths. All that unused capital must be filled with hipsters! Rents are to be extracted! Quick! Quick! I am sure that Alberto Toscano would find Berlin Syndrome a terrific case study.
You have to (I had to) put forth a certain amount of effort to take BERLIN SYNDROME seriously. But it's worth it. I think this is the only time in my life I have ever been watching a movie and thought: this reminds me of Margarethe von Trotta. That's not good or bad, just interesting. There is a lot going on here. A kind of metaphor overload. It will appeal to academics. You could write reams of smart shit about it.
Intense! Starts off slow but once it hits it's stride half way in, it ups the stakes and tension ten-fold. Really uncomfortable viewing. Performances are solid, in particular Teresa Palmer who's utterly believable. The direction and cinematography are both assured and complimentary to the story. Top marks to Kate for not romanticising Berlin or trivialising traveler naiveté. 4 stars
Based on the trailer, I hadn't been this scared to watch a film since Funny Games. It's thankfully smarter and more tasteful than that trailer suggests - though still (rightfully) not without trauma. As suggested it's operating on a heightened level, more consistent with a metaphor for control in relationships and fascism than straight thriller. Doing so it risks ignoring more banal horrors, of which I'm not too sad