In Germany, as graduate student Katie Armstrong researches cannibal killer Oliver Hagen for her thesis, she becomes obsessed with her subject and ultimately plunges into a lifestyle similar... See full summary »
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Brandon Gerald Fuller,
Lauren Ashley Carter
In Germany, as graduate student Katie Armstrong researches cannibal killer Oliver Hagen for her thesis, she becomes obsessed with her subject and ultimately plunges into a lifestyle similar to Hagen's and the thousands of people like him. Written by
Grimm Love recreates the lives of the notorious cannibal who via the Internet found someone willing to be cannibalized. It is framed within a story of an American student in Germany writing her master's thesis on the topic from a psychological perspective.
Names have been changed for the movie, but we meet both characters in their childhood. Simon, the willing victim, was a tormented homosexual boy who is traumatized by the suicide of his mother, presumably because she caught him with another boy. He is now in an apparently fulfilling relationship with Felix but still consumed by guilt. The cannibal, Oliver, was never allowed to develop as a man because of his overbearing and controlling mother. As a child he meets another kid and they spy on butchers slaughtering pigs and gets into watching real death films. Cannibalism becomes his sexual fantasy and on message boards he solicits someone to become his meal. Some who are interested back off before he takes their lives. Until he meets Simon, who thinks he can find peace only once someone removes his piece.
Presumably everything we are told is true, in particular how events unfold when the two meet as the cannibal actually filmed their encounter. That tape is the only thing that gives importance to the story of the American student. Someone offers her a copy of the film and once she sees it, it's more than she asked for.
Grimm Love, a changed but effective title, making reference to the horrific "children" stories by the brothers Grimm with which all German children have been terrorized, is a very good movie. It is not pleasant to see though. There are a lot of homosexual scenes and some gruesome scenes at the end. But the movie humanizes the characters. It's not a movie that seeks to make cannibalism cool or that delights in gore or that wants to demonize the cannibal, even though the monster in him can't be eliminated. These two characters are tormented, traumatized, suffering souls, who never managed to overcome their childhood pain, in particular Simon. The tone of the movie is mild and slower. Oliver is calculative but gentle, if one can say that. The movie is mostly filmed in tones of yellow and brown and is rather dark looking. Direction and acting are excellent. This movie is smart and succeeds at giving you insight into the darkest of dark places of the human being and of life. A recurring question is, just how was it possible that these two people with such unique but matching preferences were able to meet. An astonishing event indeed.
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