Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,032
Michael (Michael Fuith), a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. Michael is a masterfully executed study of a monster with rich cinematic detail and unnerving insight. -- (C) Strand
Feb 15, 2012 Limited
May 15, 2012
Strand Releasing - Official Site
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Another full unfaltering performance by a child. This time it's in a horror film.
There are no easy conclusions here - no explanations. Events unfold with a random, even black comic abandon.
What interests Schleinzer is putting us inside Michael's head, even though we're repelled by his activities, and his no-frills approach works.
Like its protagonist, Michael is deliberate and very discreet. It shocks by suggestion, not by display.
A hermetically sealed creep-fest that seems to have no desire to be anything more than just that.
Objective, analytic, clinical, dispassionate-these are not words often used to describe something so engrossing and gripping.
Michael does have undeniable moral purpose. It forces us to ponder the way society chooses - another easy option - to comfortingly reclassify such perpetrators as monsters.
Haneke without the soul, and if you've seen enough of that man's pictures, you can maybe perceive how unsettling the idea of a soulless Haneke sounds.
Intentionally unnerving from the first moments, it's a hard movie to watch, but it's also fantastically, agonizingly suspenseful.
Mostly the picture is blank, a credible series of scenes that invite us to make of it what we will.
A brave, unavoidably distressing debut from Markus Schleinzer, sensitively acted and directed.
There is a film to be made, grim and explorative, about paedophile abduction. Michael isn't it.
Schleinzer could hardly have chosen a more difficult subject, but he treats it with an unnerving simplicity, shorn of sensationalism or obvious moral cues.
The film is not merely a chilling insight into the day-to-day banality of evil, but also an unbearably suspenseful and tense drama.
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerful and chilling drama with a terrific central performance from Michael Fuith.
As horrifying and hard to watch as you'd expect a paedophile's-eye view of life to be. It's neither sensationalist nor trite, and the questions it asks are intelligent and thoughtful.
A mild-mannered Austrian paedophile imprisons a ten-year-old boy in his basement in Markus Schleinzer's chilly drama.
This chilly, matter-of-fact portrait of a pedophile is as hard hitting as any tabloid hysteria. No solutions or explanations are offered, but sometimes nightmares are beyond comprehension.
The Banality of Evil gets full cinematic treatment in this skillfully made but unpleasant film.
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