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  Antibodies Closer To Home
Year: 2005
Director: Christian Alvart
Stars: Wotan Wilke Möhring, André Hennicke, Heinz Hoenig, Ulrike Krumbiegel, Hauke Diekamp, Klaus Zmorek, Laura Alberta Szalski, Holger Franke, Konstantin Graudus, Norman Reedus, Jürgen Schornagel, Christian von Aster, Hans Diehl
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: One night the police have been called to a dingy apartment block because one of the residents has heard screams from upstairs. The two cops tell her to stay where she is as they venture up to investigate and on reaching the door yell at the man inside to open up. Suddenly a shot rings out and one of the cops is killed by a shotgun blast, the other staggering back in shock. He slowly makes his way over to the hole in the door and another shot occurs - but now there are reinforcements on their way, who charge up the stairs and order the killer to emerge. However, he jumps out of the window, despite being completely naked, and in his wounded state attempts a getaway only to be foiled when confronted with a detective pointing his gun at his head. This is detective Seiler (Hans Hoenig) and he's been hunting for Engels (André Henicke), the killer, for some time...

A German attempt to recreate the bleak atmosphere and twisting plotlines of such Hollywood efforts as Seven and The Silence of the Lambs, complete with genius serial killer pulling the strings even after he is caught, Antibodies, or Antikörper as it was originally titled, was certainly slick and glossy enough to at least pass for the professionalism of those. On the other hand, it's insistence on having the characters dwelling on the unpleasant details, few of which were actually depicted onscreen, pointed to a self-conscious tendency on the part of writer and director Christian Alvart to make the film as daring as possible in order to put across the challenge that good suffers in the face of pure evil.

Another element of this is the presence of that genius serial killer, who has admitted to killing fourteen people, all boys not including the cops, yet refuses to admit to the recent murder of a young girl in a quiet country village. The controversy that this caused in the small town has forced the local policeman, Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring) out of his job. But he is the only person Engels will talk to in respect to the case, resulting in some overfamiliar scenes with both men trying to get inside each others' heads, and Martens' pure heart being "infected" by Engels' wickedness, to the extent that he commits adultery (although just the once). Meanwhile at home on the farm he looks after (and since shaving off his moustache), his son is growing up to be a troubled young man - could he be connected to the girl's murder? The explicit dialogue aside, this could be a television crime drama, but is diverting enough, if derivative. I don't think the inclusion of CGI deer to indicate the triumph of sweetness and light at the end was a sensible idea, though. Music by Michl Britsch.

[The Tartan Region 2 DVD has a B Roll, trailer and interviews with two of the stars and the director as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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