Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Berlin Syndrome

Clare the Australian backpacker meets Andy the German school teacher out and about in Berlin. They hit it off, and meet up again the next day. He invites her back to his apartment, they have sex, she spends the night and when she wakes up in the morning  he's gone to work, and she's locked in. Not too perturbed, she waits for him to come home  and when he does, he takes the key he meant to leave her out of his pocket. They have more sex, she stays another night and when she wakes up she finds the key he left her doesn't fit the lock.

So now we're straying into nightmare territory. The windows don't open, and they're double glazed and reinforced. Andy appears to be the only occupant of an entire apartment complex. The apartment windows don't look out over the street, they look onto a courtyard. Andy has removed the sim card from Clare's phone, and there's no landline. When Andy returns he admits to detaining Clare on purpose, and we're definitely in nightmare territory.

The film moves into exploring the bad situation (augmenting the nightmare) and looking for the opportunity to escape. It's very tense and keeps us wondering what the outcome will be, particularly when we find out that Andy has pulled this stunt before. The Berlin Syndrome is not for the faint-hearted but I promise you won't be bored. It's well-acted and atmospheric. Just don't expect to drop off to sleep immediately when you get home.

Anne's rating 3.5/5 Ian's rating 3.5/5

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