I deliberately avoided any 9.30pm sessions of Berlin Syndrome (2017) in case I scared myself on the dark walk home. Some films are best kept for daylight hours. Watching a thriller is as much a test of the film, as it is of my internal fear that I will remember painful, revolting, cruel scenes from the film, bring that fear into my sacred space, and not be able to sleep, perhaps even have a nightmare during which I cannot grab anything. One could probably achieve the same by locking me in a room with a bird or a reptile (this is not an invitation), and saying, “Go to sleep.”
When I ‘get through’ a thriller, with minimal sensory ‘damage’ it is a small achievement. Tonight though, I was too late to see a comedy, and settled for another film on my list of desired fillums[sic] to watch, the 7.10pm session of Berlin Syndrome. So, really no different from the 9.30pm assault upon the visceral senses after all.
Director Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome is an engaging, though at times slow-moving erotic thriller about a young photojournalist who has packed up her life in Brisvegas, Australia, for a creative endeavour in Berlin, but meets hell instead. At first, Teresa Palmer’s Clare is your prototypical hiding-her-light-under-a-bushel solo backpacker, enjoying a fun fling. She discovers too late that behind cute local Andi’s (played by Max Riemelt) friendly mask, lies a wolf in waiting. But within herself, Clare finds her own animal instincts in an increasingly excruciating, in more ways than one, fight for survival.
See the preview here:
c. Kylie J. Lawrence 2017