- Ronan = 9 / 10
Angst (1983) Synopsis:
A murderer psychopath (with no name) is released after being locked up in prison for almost a decade, only to face the urge to kill again. After coming up with a master plan, he realizes that things aren’t going to work out as he thought they would.
Angst (1983) Review:
For me, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer really got into the grit and grime of what Henry Lee Lucas was like. Now, can anything beat such a violent masterpiece? Yes… With extraordinary visuals, Angst really brings the serial killer subgenre to life, and I was surprised about how so little people know about this underrated film.
The story follows a middle aged man, who is locked up in for the attempted murder on his mother and the manslaughter of an elderly woman. The haunting sounds of water dropping is quite uncomfortable, reassuring us that “The Psychopath” will be too. Upon his release, we find out that he cannot interact with people normally but narrates every little detail, something that instantly makes him very creepy. Even though he seems pretty normal at first sight, things change as soon as he talks, especially when he goes on about how he wants to kill his victims and what he wants to do with them. The action however only really begins when he fails to murder a taxi driver, leading him to a secluded house (his “Paradise”) where he takes the occupants hostage.
The antagonist (played by Erwin leder) is not your typical, smart, precise killer. He’s the opposite, he cannot talk to people properly, he’s scrawny, he makes mistakes, and is imperfect… he is an ugly mess. Some details about his past makes him somehow sympathetic: how he got neglected and abused, the love he never got, etc. but they end up being more of a distraction and obstacles to him, having him doing even more mistakes. His character actually is very intriguing and leads the audience to wonder why does he do the cruel things he does. In that, the film is unbelievable for the verisimilitude of how it portrays serial killers is spot on.
The camerawork is simply amazing. Some very original and creative shots, the camerawork is absolutely amazing, those aerial shots are something to behold, furthering the impending doom, not only for his victims, but also for his own sinister mind. Most shots are a frenzied, most appearing of similar body rig camera that really shows the claustrophobic environment of him being trapped and lost inside his own mind. Along with the cinematography by Zbigniew Rybczynski, Gerald Kargl creates here a movie with a pace that builds up gradually to create a very eerie feel. The soundtrack by Klaus Schulze also helps in creating something really special. The theme of isolation is running everywhere in the film, in these darkly lit rooms and these wide spread areas, reinforcing the feeling that our main character is a lonely and unloved soul.
Only towards the end does the movie begins to slightly drag. The camera tends to be a bit ambitious and shakes around quite a bit, although this is probably made to emphasize on the antagonists mind: excited, eccentric, paranoid and out of control. Slasher fans may be disappointed for there is no high body count, but trust me, when the kills do come, they are grisly, and the way he chooses the victims makes it even more tragic and chilling.
If you like films that do not need a lot of blood and gore to be effective, or simply if you’re a fan of world cinema, or again if you like a slow paced film such as The Shining, please check this one out.
Overall, it includes most of the horror elements you need, but it has its own take on the genre, applying camerawork that creates a lot of urgency and a disturbing premise along with a character which sums up the authentic portrayal of serial killers and gives off a message of hopelessness and the delusion of reality itself.
Angst (1983) Cast:
|Erwin Leder||…||K., the Psychopath|
|Robert Hunger-Bühler||…||Off-Text (voice)|
|Silvia Ryder||…||Daughter (Silvia) (as Silvia Rabenreither)|
|Karin Springer||…||Daughter (voice)|
|Josefine Lakatha||…||Mother (voice)|
|Renate Kastelik||…||Taxi Driver|
|Hermann Groissenberger||…||Guest at the Café|
|Claudia Schinko||…||Guest at the Café|
|Beate Jurkowitsch||…||Guest at the Café|
|Rosa Schandl||…||Waitress at the Café|
|Rolf Bock||…||Police Officer|
|Emil Polaczek||…||Police Officer|