Why do I love horror movies so much? Since most of them are obviously just trying to ruin some of the best things life has to offer like sleeping (Nightmare on Elm Street), road trips (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and witchcraft (Suspiria)... Joining the long list of films that wants to scare us from sex is Berlin Syndrome, more specifically, this Australian made and German shot flick is attempting to spoil sex with strangers whilst on holidays.
For the few of you who never got kidnapped at some point in life and haven’t started to feel attachment to your capturer (boooring!), Stockholm Syndrome, what the title is referring to, is just that. The condition takes its name from a bank robbery that happened in the Swedish capital, when after being released, the hostages refused to cooperate with the authorities and testify in court against the people that kept them in the vaults for 6 days. Hell, they even raised money for their defense - I am not making this up!
To be fair, there were a few warning signs that Andi was a psycho. For example, if your new crush starts choking you, regardless how and why, while chatting over a drink in the middle of the day on your first date, an alarm bell should start ringing, but even though Clare looked a bit uncomfortable, she wasn’t turned totally off… Otherwise we wouldn’t have had our movie.
Apart from one plot hole about basic mobile phone knowledge that could have been easily avoided, what really annoyed me more than anything was the selective Stockholm Syndrome. You either have it and you go on with whatever your capturer wants you to do, a ride or die kinda situation, or you don’t. Because I can't see you screaming for help in one shot and waste a perfectly good opportunity to get the hell away from there in the next scene. I expect the clearly troubled man that abducts a girl to act weird and do and say some wacky shit, but not the abductee.
The performances are believable, I found Clare’s quirkiness refreshing and Andi’s on and off craziness was spot on, but what really mesmerized me was how perfectly the spirits of the streets of Berlin was captured as well as the interaction between the people typical of the German capital… at least before all the kidnapping happened.
What I didn’t really find convincing after hearing about real abductions, was how the dynamics of the households are created. Or maybe the film wasn’t really clear about it.
What Berlin Syndrome is gonna get out of you is making you think you twice about having a one night stand with a sexy stranger and going on an adventure in a foreign country on your own.
I find this matter a very fascinating subject, Berlin Syndrome will make you wonder how people’s minds work under such situations and I understand one would do anything needed to survive in the moment of capture, but how far would you go to stay alive?
Written by Mags