Juega con las preconcepciones y estereotipaciones clásicas que haría la gente al ver sólo partes de lo que realmente sucede en casos como estos o inclusive a lo que llamamos realidad y a la vez logra mantener al espectador suspendido en situaciones donde inevitablemente tratará de tomar parte juzgando lo que pasa. Tensa y relaja en momentos precisos, es esa dinámica interpersonal cualquiera mostrada de forma inusual.
The banality of evil. Nobody does "real" horror like the Austrians: Haneke, Seidl and now Schleinzer. The most interesting part is that "Michae" is a funny movie. Not in a "Funny Games" sort of way. This is really a comedy slapstick, featuring moments of cartoon-like hilarity. Comic segments are in full view, while horror is mostly off screen. Which makes the viewing experience even more disturbing.
I'll try to ignore the silly way in which Michael died - who the heck decides to drive at night with their eyes/face burnt? - and just say that this is one of the creepiest films I've seen recently. All the things you DON'T see and can only imagine...
Though there are a few issues, MICHAEL is primarily made up of distressingly effective decisions. Schleinzer's sense of scene/shot tension--how those car accidents occur, the lateral track following Michael w/ the potential 2nd victim--is just remarkable. By way of directorial choices--the check mark lead-in to main title, the offscreen blocking during the snowball fight--humor is generated without moral compromise.
Despite the subject matter this movie is not as hard to stomach as I had feared. The director manages to make the horrific seem like everyday life and fills the commonplace with dread. Sure, some parts of the movie feel very stylized which almost overpowers the story. However, the austere performances and the glacial pacing works in favour of the movie, making it an uneasy watch.
Extremely engaging and uncomfortable study of the private life of a paedophile and the 10 year old boy held hostage inside his basement. The director chooses to stay impartial and act as an observer in the Haneke tradition. The audience is spared gory detail and instead left to contemplate things from the spaces between events thus focussing on the character relationship. 4 stars