It feels like a great work of anti-corporeal philosophy, Kierkegaard and the Continental ilk who saw in their bodies the manifestation of all uncleanliness. Which obviously links it to purity, cleansing and sterility - a fairly remarkable metaphor. Occupies a self-inflated headspace that visualises as complete loathing. Remarkable cinema but will work better when I'm not trying to catch up with its plot, pace. 3.5
A detailed psychoanalysis of the potential for evil that resides in us all. Every scene adds to the likening of its character's mere bourgeoisie conformity simultaneously harboring a hateful political extremist, making The Cremator's analysis of Nazism's rise as a collective belief pure Freudian. The clinical examination may bleed out its movieness, but this isn't so much a film, but a deeper understanding of life.
Is it a coincidence that possibly the greatest horror film ever made is also one of the most empathetic to its monster? Or one that exposes how easily even the most gentle person is capable of becoming one? Yeah, this film never fails to scare the shit out of me.
The masterful direction and incredibly creepy acting by Rudolf Hrusínský make The Cremator one of the most impressive horror movies I've seen. The world around our protagonist is falling to pieces and he sees it as an opportunity to get ahead in his career. His obsession with death is sometimes funny, mostly morbid and the way the movie shows the decaying of his soul as the Nazi's encroach on his country is haunting.
When you realize that every dutch angle and flash frame is a path into the Cremator's distressed, hollow soul, this nightmare becomes something far more profound. Herz' film exceeds the typical slasher film since Karl does not begin precisely evil: What was once hypocritical self-reflection (who knows a humble bourgeoisie?) and pompous romanticism mutates into mad, homicidal hubris. And we're with him all the way.
Though I think Juraj Herz's The Cremator is an ingenious film in its narrative and technical accomplishments, I feel that the wacky Kopfrkingl (and by reference, Hitler) was encoded as a delusional, mentally-ill obsessive of death and the after-life. A clownish mensch combing the hair of bloodless charges while ruminating over phantasms