Angst (1983) Review

angst

RATING: 4.5/5

[SPOILERS]

After being released from prison, a man continues his murderous path with killing an entire family of three.

My first exposure to Austrian filmmaking was a great start I gotta say.

If the cinematography in this wasn’t good, it would have been disastrous. It was great throughout and it made lots of scenes feel alive. Many techniques and various shots were used to demonstrate the feeling of being uncomfortable and on edge. To get those emotions the camera was slow-moving at the right moments and would often zoom in on the actors/actresses face in order for one to get a sheer grasp of what that character was feeling. Or it would make the action or murders more thrilling and scary to the eye.

Some of my favorite scenes were whenever the camera would do a 360 in an environment. It was a good way of establishing the environment, as well as creating an otherworldly/disorienting presence.

The entire movie took place in the duration of 1 day. During those 24 hours, the camera, for the most part, tracked the movements of the main killer protagonist. It would follow him adjusting to life outside of prison while he searched for his next victims.

There was only one character that mattered, the killer himself. He was the one the movie followed from beginning to end as he gave narration about his life and actions he was committing on-screen. I’m a bit mixed on the narration because I do want the visuals to tell the story as opposed to someone explaining what was happening. But for this movie, it was going into the intriguing and corrupted mindset of the killer, to which I can say it worked in building context in why he would do the things he was doing. In particular, the scenes where the killer was killing the family and how it corresponded to a moment in his early life.

In fact, context was what the film needed. The documentary-style portions at the beginning and the narration save the story from being a typical slasher/home invasion movie. It still might have been creepy or unsettling nonetheless, but these aspects do bring forth necessary information on the what, why, and how.

Performance from the killer was really good. Actor Erwin Leder portrayed a convincing man who was all around nervous, out-of-character, fidgety, unpredictable, and simply, dangerous to be near. Other performances seemed to be underwhelming, especially their reactions. The best example was when the killer first made his attack on the daughter. There were no screams coming from her or her mother. In the last scene, the onlookers looked to be unfazed from seeing the dead family stuffed in the trunk.

The bit where the daughter was seducing the killer was hokey, but I can understand why. If one were in that situation, they would have to do some unorthodox things to get themselves out of it.

There were a couple pieces of music that were good in once again delivering the creepy tone.

This film could also make one think about how well the laws and justice systems of a country can be. Do they really help these individuals or does it corrupt them even further to the point of no return? That fact this was based on a real-life serial killer adds to these messages. Will one find redemption once they’re behind bars?

While having one bloody scene, the film didn’t need it to attract one’s attention. The cinematography, pacing, narration, and the main character were enough to bring forth a horror film that should have been more talked about in the early 80s. It definitely would have stood out amongst the slashers for its solid execution. HIGHLY recommend it!

YouTube: Tk Theater Productions/LoneCentric Pictures

Instagram: tk_theater/lonecentricpic

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