Feature, 102min
Duitsland, 2020
Duits (English subtitles)

Director: Michael Venus
Cast: Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Sandra Hueller
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Nightmares and sinister secrets abound in a haunting and surreal thriller that echoes the ghosts of German history. 

Marlene has recurring nightmares of a hotel where she has seen men committing suicide. A trip to a similar hotel sends Marlene into a coma. As her daughter Mona investigates the hotel, its owner and the nearby village, she discovers sinister secrets and starts having nightmares herself. Haunting and surreal thriller echoes the ghosts of German history. 

This first feature uses the secluded hotel and the repercussions of the original sin committed on the land the same way as Stephen King did and dips it in a Twin Peaks-flavoured nightmarish atmosphere. It is also distinctly German, with the aesthetic of its countryside and the ghosts of German history. The depressing locations, with their sticky light-brown lino floors and shit-coloured tiles mirror the suffocating mistrust of its closed community. Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann) is fascinating as the mentally disturbed Marlene who is lost in a world between dream and reality. Haunting and surreal, it weaves its own fantastic reality, imagery and logics with admirable consistency.