Friday, April 21, 2017

Film Review: Angst (1983)

Angst (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"I've reviewed hundreds of horror movies on this website and Angst is one of the most disturbing films I've ever watched."

After he's released from prison, a disturbed man relieves his sadistic urges on a small family living in a secluded home.

Angst is a simple but effective film. The plot follows a nameless psychopath (Erwin Leder), who shot an elderly woman and served ten years for his crime. Although he admitted to having little recollection of the murder and appears to be unhinged, the psychopath is not treated for his perversions. Instead, he's released into the general public after serving his time. Of course, being a psychopath and all, it's only a matter of time before he begins falling to his sadistic urges. He finds a seemingly abandoned house, which seems perfect for his lifestyle. However, when he discovers it's not abandoned, he begins harming the residents of the home. During his fits of violence, the psychopath's story is explained through his narration—you learn quite a bit about him. It leads to a bloody climax and a great ending.

Angst is a horrific experience. I've reviewed hundreds of horror movies on this website and Angst is one of the most disturbing films I've ever watched. It is a visceral piece of cinema, feeding off of your inner fears. The plot is simple, true, but the focus on character is superb. Thanks to the narration, background, and performance, the film brings you into the mind of a sadistic serial killer. Angst doesn't feature a high body count. This isn't a traditional slasher after all. The few murders in this film are very effective, though. I think it's the raw, realistic depiction that really got under my skin. It feels like you're watching something you shouldn't be watching. There are a few scenes that occasionaly feel dragged out, but that's more of a nitpick. Most of the time, the pacing is perfect.

Erwin Leder delivers a stellar performance. He begins as what feels like an awkward, anti-social recluse and quickly reveals himself as a psychopath. His range is perfect. Despite its subject, the film is beautiful. The cinematography is great and the camerawork is engaging. The often hectic camerawork expertly reflects the psychopath's mind. The film was written by Gerald Kargl and Zbigniew Rybczynski; Kargi also directs. The writing is great. It takes a simple scenario and breathes life into it through its deep characters. Kargl's direction is fantastic. From its visuals to the performances, he creates an extremely effective portrait of angst.

Overall, Angst is a superb movie. The film is truly disturbing. It is a vicious, real portrait of a serial killer—and his name isn't Henry. If you like the genre, if you're looking for something shocking, this is for you. Don't miss out on this masterpiece of horror cinema.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some brief nudity.

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