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Reviews & Ratings for
Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps More at IMDbPro »Sennentuntschi (original title)

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42 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Best swiss movie in a long time

Author: BloodyHellSunday from Switzerland
23 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to see this movie in cinema yesterday. We didn't have high expectations because Swiss movies are usually not as good as I'd like them to be. This movie was different, all the actors did a great job, especially R. Mesquida and A. Zogg, who played some of the main parts were very convincing and the perfect cast for this role. The story was very mysterious in the beginning, the images of the mountains and landscapes were breathtaking and really stunning. Some scenes were quiet brutal and rude, but never tasteless or offending, and even though the movie had that mysterious touch in the beginning, even supernatural, it all turns out to be logical and not unreal in the ending. Also you could never say how the movie ends or where it goes, I like that a lot in movies, when you can't predict the end. The shooting location, a small village in the mountains of Grischuna was perfect, romantic but not kitsch, it shows the real Switzerland, outside of the big cities and everything about traditions and lifestyle of the people was really accurate. The only disadvantage was for me, that sometimes it wasn't quiet clear when certain things happened, like back-flashes or present shots, it wasn't pointed out when what happened. But all in all I am proud of my country, releasing such a great movie I've never expected, I can give it a 9 star rating. I can only recommend this movie to you out there, its worth it.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Classy slow burning Swiss thriller

Author: Bloodwank from United Kingdom
20 September 2011

It is said (or at least was at the screening attended) that Sennentuntschi is Switzerland's first genre film. One hope that they make more, for its quite a cracker. It draws upon a little used myth (I can think of maybe one other film that makes use of it) of lonely Alpine shepherds who sew a lady companion out of straw and cloth. By and by the lady comes to life, loves them and keeps their home, until she falls out of favours and takes her vengeance. Things are a bit more complicated than that here though, with a strange and silent lady (Roxanne Mesquida) coming to a village from the mountains and immediately arousing superstitions. Local inspector Reusch is on her side, but something bad is afoot, and events in the village are parallelled by the affairs of a moutainside shepherd, his son and a city man who joins them. The film is quite a slow burner, focused on the slowly boiling drama of its characters and the tensions between superstition and reason, religion and modernity, man and woman, primal and tamed. Set in 1975 when there were still places in the Alps caught in older times, there's a convincing sense of removal from reality and rustic unease, quiet disquiet that works well with the sublime locations, crisply shot by Pascal Walder. Solid performances across the board give the film an effective dramatic tone, Nicholas Ofczarek giving the character of Reusch a sense of earnest dedication tinged with affecting romantic, longing, Andrea Zogg bringing righteous fire to his powerful priest character and Roxanne Mesquida especially good in her silent role as the rumoured Sennentuntschi, conveying feral grace and danger with an edge of primal humanity. Things come to a head in nicely intense and fairly shocking fashion with a cruelly punching final block, although a slightly tricksy approach to the narrative dilutes the ultimate effect. All in all its a quality and worthwhile watch, though not as potent as it could be. It takes a little too long to really come aflame I think, while things are ultimately satisfying there isn't so much suspense in earlier scenes. And for all the interesting oppositions the film brings up with its narrative, it doesn't really end up saying anything particularly interesting, though never less than satisfying entertainment its standard genre film mechanics do slightly sap its underlying interest. Still recommended though, 7/10

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly powerful Swiss bloodcurdler.

Author: Jonathon Dabell ( from Todmorden, England
14 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Swiss are hardly noted for their thriving film industry, but viewers shouldn't let that affect their pre-conceptions about Sennentuntschi: Curse Of The Alps. This wonderfully atmospheric chiller from Swiss director Michael Steiner manages to be a real surprise. That is to say: creepy, mysterious and ingenious in equal measure. Steiner takes a piece of ancient Alpine folklore and fashions it into an absorbing 1970s-set thriller, boosted in no small part by its vast, lonely mountain locale, as well as a clutch of memorable performances by the main actors.

The story moves – perhaps too ambitiously – along three fronts. It opens in the present with an intriguing sequence in which a young girl uncovers a long-lost corpse in alpine woodland, guided to its resting place by a ghostly apparition. The second segment shows a long flashback describing a series of unnerving events which brought fear and superstition to the region in 1975. Following the shocking suicide of a priest in a remote Swiss community, the villagers suddenly find their superstitions brought to a head when a young mute girl (Roxanne Mesquida) turns up. Everyone assumes that her inexplicable appearance is somehow connected to the priest's death, except for village cop Sebastian Reusch (Nicholas Ofczarek) who isn't prepared to explain away the puzzling mystery with talk of ghosts and ghouls. The locals express concern that something may also have happened to a trio of herdsmen who live and work high on the mountain behind their village, and urge Reusch to go up to make sure they are safe and well. He does, but when he reaches their high alpine farm there is no-one there. Reusch simply assumes they are out hunting and returns to the village. The third thread of the story, presented as a flashback within a flashback, recounts the story of the three shepherds (Carlos Leal, Andrea Zogg and Joel Basman). Drunk, lonely and frustrated, their decision to make a 'Sennentuntschi' (a woman of straw, given life by the devil) has grave consequences for everyone.

Steiner skilfully blurs the chronology of his story, creating a fragmentary narrative which keeps audiences guessing right to the very end. This disjointed rearrangement of narrative and time threatens to become irritating in the early stages, but Steiner quickly wins over the audience with his uniquely unsettling style. Mystery is piled upon mystery, intrigue upon intrigue, drawing the viewer into a labyrinth of perverted fairy-tale and superstitious frenzy The performances are pitch-perfect, with Mesquida in particular giving a riveting turn as the titular creature. Is she a minion of the devil or just the innocent victim of irrational backwoods beliefs? Her wordless portrayal of the 'Sennentuntschi' is absolutely central to the success of the whole film, and she is, in a word, excellent. To convey such a range of emotion solely through eye contact and body language is no mean feat. Ofczarek, Leal, Zogg and Basman all add memorable characterisations of their own, while Ueli Jaeggi rounds things off impressively as a fanatical priest with murky ulterior motives. Sennentuntschi: Curse Of The Alps is a beautiful-looking, cleverly crafted horror film with much to admire. If it is indicative of the future of Swiss movie-making, then audiences have a lot of good stuff to look forward to!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Swiss mystery

Author: kosmasp
2 February 2012

It is hard to describe the movie. Especially because you would be giving away plot points or other very important things about the movie. What I can say (without having read anything about the story that is being told here) though, is that this is a very intriguing and very well made thriller. If you didn't know it yet, Switzerland is taking a stand here with a great movie.

The story is worth watching and the way it is shown, will give you some extra thrills here and there. This might very well be a great companion piece to Ketchums "The Woman". There is more than a little social criticism and other stuff in this movie. If you want to see them. Or you can just be entertained and thrilled, from beginning to end ... (with potential to watch again).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nice bed time story...

Author: lazyorama from Mumbai
17 February 2016

I watched it once, would love to watch it again.. One of the best European movies I have seen, plot wise. The cinematography is awesome. The Alps are simply beautiful. The 70's rural male psyche is portrayed well. The way how things play out, is quite plausible and understandable. Lead actress has done such a convincing job, best one could ever have in such limited roles. In-fact all the actors played their characters well. Kudos to the screenplay and the direction, had me till the very end. Super. PS- I actually wrote this review, as one Boogieman seemed to have not grasped the story. The 3 bodies were that of the Temp hands, our Hooch (Potent) maker had previously hired. He may have had a fetish for skinning, especially after a heavy dose of the green fairy. Yes the movie is dark.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Sometimes good, overall forgettable

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
9 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Sennentuntschi" is a Swiss movie from 5 years ago and certainly one of the most famous film in recent history from the country of neutrality. Maybe because it is a horror mystery movie which is not too frequent for the German-language areas. Then again, I should be careful saying German as the Swiss accents in here are so heavy that you will not understand the dialogs even as a German native speaker. Get subtitles for that. The film got some awards recognition, especially at the Swiss Film awards and it has a bunch of experienced actors in it who all do a fairly good job. One of these is Joel Basman, who just won a German Film Award very recently. The female lead and at the same time the only female character which plays a bigger role in this film is played by Roxane Mesquida. She is really stunning and was a nice choice for the character of Sennentuntschi. She plays a young woman who shows up at a Swiss village and she seems to lack basic human abilities such as speaking for example. But that is also what makes her so appealing to the men of this village, apart from her looks of course. It is the fact that she is so different.

Still, at the same time, there are always suspicions that she may be evil, a witch possibly or even the devil personified. The solution comes at the end. Until then, she gets raped by several men of the village, but thanks to a police officer who takes somehow care of her she does not get killed. Also, she is accused of being responsible for the death of several people and also maybe turns some of the village people against each other. As a whole, it was a fairly mediocre film. It definitely has a couple pretty good moments, but none of these were really great enough to let me recommend this films. I wish Michael Steiner, who wrote and directed it, could have kept it a bit more essential at 90 minutes max instead of 110. There were really quite a few scenes that added totally nothing for me. What I did like was the whole setting. The nature added some really nice atmosphere to it. But still, there are just too many uninteresting factors about this film in my opinion. Only give it a watch if you are really into horror/mystery pieces.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

This movie could have been a masterpiece if the ending did not ruin it all... *contains spoilers*

Author: milo77-1 from United Kingdom
20 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was highly excited while watching this movie. The acting was not exceptional but quite good! The scenario seemed to be metaphorical about people that the politically correct society considers as being evil, but in reality things are not really as they seem. The director seemed to try to communicate the idea that there is always something hiding behind people who seem to behave evil and act eccentric. I liked this whole idea. But unfortunately, it was just my idea! The movie ending ruined it all. It just turned out to be a conventional shallow horror movie with nothing more to say. The end titles, spoilt the film even more. The ending rock song music was mimicking (the usually shallow) Hollywood horror movie endings. It's a pity...

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11 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Keeps you interested till the end, but a little bit confusing

Author: BOOGIEMAN-pN from Serbia
5 July 2011

Isolated village in Swiss Alps is perfect scenery for a good thriller. This one starts good, but to the end, it gets more and more confusing. I get the general idea what happened, but for movie to be a good (and for me to like it) you need to explain all details (like those three corpses at the end, whose are they ? I googled but I couldn't find any explanation in English). Also, the characters decisions are very weird. It's like, for a smallest things they start shooting at each other. There's a fair amount of violence that I don't mind, but I figure others might dislike.

On technical note, other from confusing but still decent directing/editing - acting and sound/music are good. I also appreciate that there's nothing fantasy/supernatural in the story (well, almost nothing, who's that kid with the mirror at the beginning ? One more unexplained detail), just a plain crime/mystery/thriller. My final mark is above average, it kept me tied to chair from start to end. If for nothing else, you could give it a chance just for beautiful mountain scenery.

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7 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

What has society come to...

Author: QuirkyCat
4 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...if this is rated so highly by viewers. I think this is a sick movie (and no, I am not a sensitive viewer) but really, if the exploitation of females must be portrayed, rather "imply" it, but don't show it - we see enough violence and crime and rape (especially where I live) so why do we need more of it for "entertainment" sake? Yes, it is reality, but part of society's degradation is from making it all so easy to see.

On a more positive note, the movie was well made from a Swiss town and alp-life point of view - very realistic and I think it could have been brilliant if just portrayed in a slightly different light while still maintaining the impact.

All in all, a disturbing movie. And a waste of time and money.

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