[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.
There are a few problems to the story, especially surrounding Clare's trip to the woods while supposed to be incarcerated by her obsessive captor, and the ending is a little cliche and weak, however discounting these points, the bulk of the story is thrilling and the subtle unfolding of Clare's psychological dependence on her captor is fascinating and compelling. There's also some sublime cinematography throughout.
Gyrates between ticking off the tropes of the genre and gesturing towards metaphor in a jarring and not particularly pleasant way. I maybe would have preferred my chair set to a single speed. Still, Shortland shows her unique style and voice, she just got to say more with it in 'Lore'.
Max Riemelt's charming psychopath meets Teresa Palmer's anxiety ridden, desperately lonely traveller in the perfect emotional state for him to exploit. It builds great characters, but seems to lack a story to follow them on, almost coming to a stall midway as it follows a paint-by-numbers abduction plot while building a deeper backstory for the abductor. It picks up at the end, but 20 minutes less would be better.
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.