The Keep

1983, Horror, 1h 38m

15 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

A stranger (Scott Glenn) fights timeless evil in a Romanian castle occupied by a Nazi captain (Jürgen Prochnow).

Cast & Crew

Scott Glenn
Glaeken Trismegestus
Jürgen Prochnow
Captain Klaus Woermann
Ian McKellen
Dr. Theodore Cuza
Robert Prosky
Father Fonescu
Gabriel Byrne
Major Kaempffer
Michael Mann
Screenwriter
Richard Brams
Associate Producer
Colin M. Brewer
Executive Producer
Hawk Koch
Producer
Gavin MacFadyen
Associate Producer
Howard Blake
Original Music
Christopher Franke
Original Music
Edgar Froese
Original Music
Johannes Schmölling
Original Music
Alex Thomson
Cinematographer
Dov Hoenig
Film Editor
Chris Kelly
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for The Keep

All Critics (15) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for The Keep

  • Jul 05, 2021
    Michael Mann wrote/directed this bit of armageddon now based on a popular supernatural horror novel of the time. Set in the short period during the Nazi regime's ascendancy, a troop arrives to close an out-of-the-way Romanian mountain pass only to find themselves up against some Biblical type evil presence. It's hard to say exactly what is happening as this mish-mosh is as confusing and vague as an overworked fog machine allows one to see. Top-tier actors yell their lines at one another but no one stops to explain what the hell is going on. File this one under "films I wanted to work, but they didn't."
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2012
    Mann's second film and a controversial adaptation of Wilson's novel that didn't go down too well with either the audiences or the author. The film isn't particularly bad but there is obviously a lot of hack editing going on and much of the original plot has been ignored or cut. On the visual side the film is really quite cool looking, it almost looks like an early MTV rock video. The effects (for the time) were pretty swish and do hold the tone of the film together. There is a lot of visual flair with stylish lighting, camera angles, creepy claustrophobic vibes etc...which is one of the films saving graces, great atmosphere. Another plus point is the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. As you would expect their usual blend of futuristic electronic synth mixed with that old fashioned ethereal/spiritual fairytale-like sound is very unique. Their music can evoke strong emotions from you the viewer . The only problem is this lovely soundtrack doesn't really fit this film. A lot of the tense moments don't really come across as being that thrilling because the music floating in the background just doesn't match the scenario. You would expect to hear a score of this tone for a film like 'Blade Runner'. The film is also confusing and rather unexplained, where as the original novel is straight forward (so I've read), so why is this film so messy? The evil entity that is released seems to be angry at the Nazi's for killing his people, so I'm guessing it was a Jewish entity? and if it wants to kill Nazi's why not let it? Also we don't find out where the entity comes from, what it really is, what's its purpose, who is 'Glenn', what is 'Glenn's' story etc... This isn't really a horror in my eyes, there isn't much blood or gore and its not scary in the slightest, it comes across as a slightly adult version of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' really. The entity or demon is a bit comical to be honest, it should of been kept unseen really. The whole atmosphere in the film is perfect for the entity to roam around in the shadows but they don't really utilise that advantage strangely. The cast of big names in early roles also works in the films favour, check Ian McKellen in a 'pre-Professor X' type role and Gabriel Byrne as the sadistic German SD Sturmbannführer 'Kaempffer'. Of course being a film about the Nazi's you can't not cast Jürgen Prochnow, solid. I think first time viewers who have not read the novel will struggle with many questions being raised. I'm very sure the novel addresses many of the issues in the film...well I presume as I have not read it. But the blend of gothic horror set amidst WWII will keep most entertained and interested as it is well created and crafted.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2010
    With a little work, this could have been a truly great movie. However, the story just makes no sense and the characters have nowhere to go. About the only thing really good is the bizarre soundtrack from Tangerine Dream. Gabriel Byrne also makes for one ridiculously threatening Nazi. I really liked the basic concept of the soul-taking demon and wishthat Michael Mann took this to a higher level than just a random showdown at the end. Scott Glenn also makes no sense in this movie, he has little dialogue and all he did was have sex with the daughter of Ian McKellen and bleed Predator blood.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2009
    This is one of my all-time favourite films!!! I haven't watched it for years. I know I have a copy here, somewhere. I must pull it out & watch it again. I am not familiar with the director but I remember being blown away by the ethereal creepiness of the hero (as a kid, I simply was not familiar with the notion that heroes, too, can be flawed). It utterly fascinated me. So unlike anything produced for mainstream audiences. I think this was only Gabriel Byrne's 2nd ever film, wasn't it? After Ken Russell's Gothic, he never looked back.
    mirabella 1 Super Reviewer

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