Release Date: February 16th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Slowhand Releasing and Dark Sky Films.
The Cast: Wotan Wilke Moehring, André Hennicke, Heinz Hoenig, Ulrike Krumbiegel, Hauke Diekamp.
Directed by Christian Alvart.
In German with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: Michael (Moehring), a cop, interrogates Gabriel (Hennicke), an incarcerated serial killer, about the recent murder of a 12-year old girl in a small town.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Antibodies begins as a taut psychological thriller, but gradually descends into silliness once religious symbolism enters the picture. In the riveting opening scenes, Gabriel runs around naked and bloody at night as the police chase and finally capture him. He confesses to killing and raping 14 young boys, but denies he took part in a recent murder and rape of a young girl in a small town. Michael, a cop from the town, visits him in prison to question him about the murder. One of the townspeople might be the new killer as well. In a strange turn of events, he discovers that his son, Christian (Diekamp), had a sexual relationship with the girl and notices him acting deranged—i.e. killing animals and even injuring the family dog. All of the performances are impressive, especially André Hennicke as the creepy-looking serial killer. Calling this film highly derivative goes without saying, but the real problem here lies within writer/director Christian Alvart’s script which becomes a confusing mess throughout the convoluted second act. Alvart does add some stylish visuals and tries to keep add some tension with the intense musical score. More information about the background of Gabriel would have helped to make his character a more imaginative, interesting and unique serial killer. As is, he’s merely a Hannibal Lector-like madman who likes to play mental games with his inquisitor, except he doesn’t devour his victims. The inclusion of religious symbolism comes across as just pretentious and bizarre and diminishes the momentum of the initial suspense and thrills.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Often pretentious, convoluted and confusing.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Stylish cinematography and strong performances barely compensate a convoluted, pretentious and confusing plot which gradually diminishes the suspense.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "A" Menu