Wow, don’t let anyone tell you Germans can’t make good horror films (I don’t know who would say that anyway). German Angst is an anthology of three films directed by three German directors and mostly focused on love and sex with a heavy dose of surrealism. It seemed that the only connecting factor between all three segments was that after the first one, you began to question the reality of the character’s situations throughout the following films.
The first segment, “Final Girl”, was directed by Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik) and was probably my least favorite of the three. Shot through long takes and extreme close-ups, the story follows a young girl and her guinea pig living in a dirty apartment in Berlin. Everything seems relatively harmless until you realize she doesn’t exactly live alone. The only dialogue being her voice over (and all about guinea pigs), you never quite get the full story, and that’s obviously how Buttgereit intended for it to be, but there seemed to be a child abuse backstory lurking in the shadows. The girl (played by Lola Gave) acted to the best of her abilities and I wouldn’t say it was anything award-worthy, but the character was methodical and emotionless which made the story all the more unnerving. The bit of gore that was shown made this segment more enjoyable for me. Oh, and if you have testicles, you might want to watch a certain scene with your hands over your eyes.
The segment segment, “Make A Wish”, really amped it up and was pretty damn brutal. Directed by Michal Kosakowski, the story follows a deaf couple who go exploring in an abandoned building when they’re attacked by a group of neo-Nazis. Fortunately, the couple is in possesion of a family heirloom that could save them. My favorite of the three, this film didn’t hold back in terms of brutality and cringe-inducing moments. The magical talisman that enables you to switch bodies gives the viewer a little bit of hope, but there was definitely no happy ending in this one. The racial conflicts were the obvious driving factor behind the whole story which lent to the ever-increasing ferociousness of the Nazis actions. There was a lot of switching back and forth between English and German (and subtitled sign language), so that coupled with a few pretty annoying characters almost took me out of the film, but definitely weren’t enough to stop me from wanting to see how it all ends. And believe me when I say that ending will stick with you for a while afterwards.
The final segment, “Alraune”, directed by Andreas Marschall was a fantasy-driven and was totally wild and surreal as hell. Eden (Milton Welsh) makes plans online to meet a woman at a night club and ends up at a secret sex club that promises him a crazy sexual experience when he uses a drug made from the Mandragora plant. What follows is a story that is totally flashy and colorful. This one was a little less enjoyable to watch mostly because Eden’s German accent made it super difficult to understand his lines in English, so I had to rewind a lot just to get caught up in what the hell was going on. And honestly, it can be difficult to follow at times, which actually worked to the segment’s advantage because it really embodied the surreal aspect of the whole anthology. The ending “sex scene” was what tied this whole segment together perfectly because it was f*cking bonkers and gross and I loved it. And just when you think it can’t get any worse than that, the film gives you one final “damn, that’s messed up”. It’s easy to see why this one is a favorite amongst people who have seen it.
German Angst is a worthy addition to the anthology world and is definitely worth a viewing, especially for fans of dark and gritty horror films.
GERMAN ANGST is directed by Jörg Buttgereit, Andreas Marschall and Michal Kosakowski.