Thursday, August 23, 2012


Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps
d. Steiner, Michael (Switzerland)

Based on a classic cautionary legend, Switzerland’s first big budget horror effort is a doozy. A feral woman (Rubber’s Roxane Mesquida) shows up in a mountain village following a priest’s suicide, sparking a wave of dread throughout the god-fearing citizens. Police lieutenant Nicholas Ofczarec dodges the hysteria and ends up falling for the mysterious girl left in his care, though flashbacks to her experiences with a trio of mountain farmers hint that she may not be as innocent as she seems.

While there is a serious stripe of sexual violence throughout, a device I usually find to be a tiresome and lazy means of eliciting sympathy for and/or vilifying characters, the rape scenes here go beyond mere cinematic shorthand, leaving us miles from the standard revenge pic. Steiner and co-writers Stefanie Japp and Michael Sauter also walk an intriguing line between twisted realism and supernatural goings-on, one that never quite resolves itself (for better or worse depends upon the viewer, I suppose – I would have preferred a slightly less obtuse resolution).

A superbly realized production, one that hopefully will soon find its way to DVD in spite of its unwieldy title.

No comments:

Post a Comment