Rasmus Bentley and his lover, Maria, are quickly climbing the ladder of success. One afternoon, after the closure of a deal which will secure their lives together forever, a terrible turn of events occurs. One year earlier, an eccentric scientist is brutally murdered in his sprawling ancient castle. His notary, Rasmus, calls together the man's heirs listed in his will, but as they all gather at the castle, they fail to realize that the murderer is still haunting the ancient halls. One by one, the group is methodically hunted down by the lunatic, whose vicious bloodbath is far from complete... The fates of Rasmus and Maria have been foretold, but how did this madness begin? Written by
Okay, I've fucked some disgusting character before... but you???
Hey! Don't get all high and mighty about it! You were the one on top! You could have left any time you wanted to!
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This could have been Andreas Schnass glorious welcome to the English speaking cinema, but ended up flawed because of certain production aspects that could had been easily corrected. Maybe it was the budget? overconfidence? human error? Let me explain.
This plot is about an old man who is brutally murdered in his castle, and the family who comes to take the inheritance. One by one will be killed by the servants who want to take the money. This is stated since the first two scenes, so don't worry, I have not spoiled a thing.
The movie starts with a couple being brutally killed by no reason. It takes us a year after the homicide and the movie starts, we realize that the couple are the servants. There is suspense, but this is not of the Agatha Christie's "who did it?" type, the questions that carry the movie are: "how were they discovered? and who discovered them?" In terms of script, is an unusual take on the story of the typical "inheritance story", and even when it gets boring at times and the ending is kind of dull, the acting carries it very good. Andreas Schnass had a nice cast... which leads us to one of the main problems in the film.
Why to have good foreign actors who CAN'T speak English TALKING in English?!? No matter how good an actor is, to be able to play a part in a language you don't know takes an extra effort that on rare occasions works(Peter Lorre in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" comes to mind). It was obvious that the movie was doomed when this choice was made because, even when some actors DO make a good pronunciation, most of them don't. Don't get me wrong, the acting is good, but it would had been a thousand better if the actors were speaking their mother languages. Or knew how to speak English. A good dubbing would had improved this movie a lot.
Andreas Schnass is known for having over-the-top gore similar to Peter Jackson's early efforts; in Demonium, while it still is very gory, it takes a Gothic approach similar to Stuart Gordon's Castle Freak. This makes the gore to be less funny(unlike Braidnead) and more in tone with the dark ambiance the film has.
So, we have average script, good acting(despite the BIG flaw of the language), usual direction BUT... the second BIG flaw of the movie is the lighting. This is Schnass first 35 mm. movie, but the lighting he used makes it look like a video. It's that bad. Certainly, this is a problem of experience, I hope that his next efforts will have improved this flaw.
I see a bright future for Mr. Schnass, and even when this movie suffers a LOT with it's flaws, it's still watchable. It's a bad movie that promises a better next effort.
5/10 because it's flaws really damaged what could had been a good movie.
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