Im Schatten der Angst

2019 [GERMAN]


IMDb Rating 6.1 10 86

psychiatrist psychiatric hospital forensic psychiatrist criminal justice

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 25, 2022 at 05:03 AM


Top cast

820.75 MB
German 2.0
30 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 2 / 10

It all went wrong

"Im Schatten der Angst" (really generic title, could be used for a million movies, as uninspired as the rest of this film and going for cheap thrills), which means "In the shadow of fear", is a German television film from 2019. Well, apparently it was shown at some film festival last year already and also aired on Austrian television in 2019, but the real release on German television was yesterday. So I see it more like a 2020 film, even if officially this is probably not true if we go by first airing. No surprise, it is also an Austrian co-production. This one runs for almost 1.5 hours like most other German television movies and it was directed by Till Endemann. This gives at least some hope here because he is relatively experienced and has been making movies for almost 20 years. I wish I could say the same about writers Reuber and Thill, but it definitely isn't true. For both of them, after some short film works, this is their very very first full feature screenplay and it is kinda surprising they managed to get in charge of such a prestigious project here because it showed last night during prime time on one of the very biggest German television channels. Perhaps they hoped that the two women could help each other and correct each other's mistakes. Sadly, it did not turn out this way, maybe because they are both not good enough. The outcome is a really cringeworthy movie. Let me say a few words on the cast here. Julia Koschitz I generally like, but honestly the more I see from her, the more critical I get and the more my suspicion rises that I just find/found her physically attractive enough to look beyond the idea that she really lacks in terms of range and versatility. She is pretty attractive, even now in her mid-40s, always has been, but she may not be an actress with the greatest range and versatility. Her male co-lead here is Justus von Dohnányi and funnily I saw him in the new German Lassie movie immediately before seeing this movie here. I liked him a lot there and what he did with a small character as pretty impressive. Now his two roles could not be any more different. In this movie here, he is the one and only main antagonist. He is the guy you see on the photo here on imdb by the way of course. I think he is an okay actor, not great either, but his performance here is also evidence of how he needs quality writing like everybody else to really make an impact. So i would not really say it is his fault, except maybe that he agreed to play in this film at all and not decline the offer. You also see in the background of the photo the pink room in which this film is set on many occasions. A really simple idea to turn this room into something special in terms of angst, claustrophobie and several other aspects, but it stayed an attempt and even there they messed up. Back to the cast: Marie-Christine Friedrich is one oof the major supporting players and I have seen her in other films too and she was almost always bad. This also applies here, but not just her performance, but also how her character is written. The other two who are maybe known to my fellow German film buffs here are Silberschneider and Zeiler, but both do not have too much screen time, so I won't go into detail in terms of them because simply the material is not there for them to make an impact.

Now before I talk about specifics, I had major issues with one aspect from this movie and this would be the gender role. We have two key female characters and the two actors there do not have half he chemistry they want us to believe they do, which also shows us that the casting directors here were not particularly competent. The first is a really smart and competent psychologist. Number 2 is a cop who is not taken seriously by her male colleagues at all, but we find out she was right about the idea that the antagonist here may be the one responsible for other gruesome deeds. And there you already have references about the males. One is a (potential) killer. Others are misogynist police officers. And finally, the biggest male supporting player is a young scholar who is so happy he can work with this female psychologist (Koschitz) that he literally enjoys how he is constantly bullied, ignored and tormented by her. Great gender writing we have here. No surprise this is shown by the mainstream media on the best slot. I find it simply repulsive. This already basically would have been a negative dealbreaker if it had been the only issue, but there are many many other aspects how the film fails really hard. By the way, not sure if it was intended, but von Dohnányi here and there reminded me of Tucci in "The Lovely Bones". Just a random note. Now back to why this film sucked: The writing is just so poor. Here are a few examples. One would be how they connect him to these other crimes. It is ridiculous that we should believe this is really what we get out of the very brief interview between the two protagonists and of course, just out of nowhere, we are served several murders out of nowhere, where tehy say yeah sure he could have done something. Let's link him to this, to this, to this... I mean, it is not completely unrealistic. It could have been perfectly the case that he killed eople in the past, but then you have to lead us there convincingly. And not with garbage, almost inexistent references where no good cop/interrogator could have made such conclusions. It's really sad to see how much German crime thrillers, especially those with psychological references, suck these days. I am tempted to say that it's good they are even trying because the genre is not prolific at all here in my country, but if the outcome is a gigantic mess like it is here, then maybe the best plan would be to just not make these films anymore at all for a while. It all went wrong.

What else can I say? Everything else that plays a bigger role is executed poorly too, like how we are supposed to believe that the protagonist cannot deal with people is almost an insult to people with actual social phobia. How she openly tells the bad guy about her issues. Nope, still no chemistry. Or how we are supposed to believe it is a realistic one (wo-)man show, especially towards the end, is just ridiculous. Honestly, I thought the female protagonist was clinically insane to enter the car with no safety net next to this psychopath. Oh wait, out of nowhere we have the female cop and the male dummy driver behind her of course. No real cops, just these two. I mean it's not as if the film is playing in a big city where there would be thousands of cops. Oh wait, it is. Then the scenes with the trapdoor towards the end, well they were maybe still among the more tense because you could wonder if there is anything down there (or anybody) or if he just ants to trap her. Again you could think the female protagonist is retarded to step down there first on her own. You could think she is almost suicidal and begs the guy to kill her. But then there is of course a child down there and we should see her as a heroine all of a sudden despite all the dumb stuff she did before that. It's a joke and not a good one. This is not even a film that is so bad that it is funny or entertaining again, so zero guilty pleasure potential here. Mostly because you can feel constantly how they tooks this film actually seriously and want audiences to think this is a decent thriller. Only the dumbest will. Sadly, there are probably enough of those. Don't even get me started on JvD's random rambling all of a sudden down there that now they are all united like a family. Ridiculous. It makes no sense. He may have been attracted to Koschitz' character from the very start, but he was not clinically insane. He knew exactly what was going on and that she only sees him as a case study. He was smart enough to know that. Oh yeah, when we know there is somebody else down there, he finally steps down too because the element of suspense is gone now. Or I should say "element of suspense" because this film is so bad that honestly you should even care one bit what is happening next. Alright, you get my point. This was an abomination and I have read people say there are parallels between this film and "The Silence of the Lambs" from almost 30 years ago, maybe over 30 depending on when you read this review. Everybody who makes such a statement to compare this disgusting mess we have here with such a classic should wash their mouth (or fingers if written) immediately after that. Highly not recommended. Certainly one of the worst films from the genre from the last decade. Not only from Germany, but in general. Stay far far away.

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