A haunting portrait of a well-established German family living on the outskirts of Berlin in their ideal world, but are slowly shaken by external influences.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sten Jacobs ...
Anna Altmann ...
Jaspar Fuld ...
Nina Splettstößer ...
Stephan Bürgi ...
Christopher Degenhardt
Natascha Zimmermann ...
Anne Lass
Felix Witzlau ...
Matthias
Tobias Frieben ...
Oliver
León Delor ...
Philipp
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Storyline

The Larsens are a picture perfect family from the German upper-middle class. They have everything that means comfort and should mean happiness. Business success, a stylish, light-flooded home and a full scholarship for their daughter to study in England. However, the head of the family, Markus, an architect, lives a secret, bisexual double life as his wife Christine and their eleven-year-old daughter Elisabeth drown in unendurable loneliness. Markus realizes that he has a strong yearning for one of his daughter's school friends, Johannes, 12, also the son of his tax penalty-bedeviled business partner, Christopher. He succeeds in getting closer to Johannes and binds the boy to himself with ever-increasing intensity. His wife is desperately aware of the emotional distance of her husband, but only her daughter Elizabeth, reacting to the sexually laden atmosphere, sees through the lies and secrets that she instinctively knows to be an growing, disruptive threat to the entire family. As ... Written by Burz

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"The Summer House" is a subtle portrait of human desire, inner desolation, self-deception and moral decadence. A film moving slowly, but ceaselessly to a final cataclysm. You want to look away, but you cannot.

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Drama

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Release Date:

15 April 2014 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Summer House  »

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1.85 : 1
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Weak from start to finish, bad at the very end
21 December 2016 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"Das Sommerhaus" or "The Summer House" is a German movie from 2014 that runs for slightly under 100 minutes. It is the so far most known work by writer and director Curtis Burz and this really says nothing positive about his (lack of) talent unfortunately. I cannot really say anything about the cast as I am not familiar with any of these people sadly and even a huge German film buff like myself does not know them. But this would not be a problem if they story is good. Sadly, here it is not. The title is actually okay sort of as you think of a harmonic place and you already guess correctly that not so harmonic things will happen there. But the plot is a perfect example of an overly ambitious filmmaker who is so desperate for her film to make a difference and be important and relevant that he simply takes everything somewhat dramatic that he can think of and packs it in there. Coming-of-age.? Check. Unhappy marriage? Check. Potential suicide? Check. Pedophilia? Check. Teenage love? Check. Homosexuality? Check. And eventually even murder. Oh well.. at that point it did not matter anyway anymore, even if it was the (almost) final knife scene that really destroyed it all for me and got me to give it an even lower rating than I previously intended to. This film has nothing to do with realism or authenticity. Burz gave it his all to make it as shocking as possible probably hoping that more people would find out about the film this way. He was somewhat right. But he was very wrong when it comes to the creative difference this film makes. Namely none. I do not see this one as a creative achievement at all and they made pretty much nothing out of the suspense, atmosphere and okay setting mentioned in the title. In addition, the acting isn't helping either. Yes the actors are somewhat excused by the way their characters were written, but we shall not forget that they accepted the roles and did nothing with them or even made things worse like the male child actor who is extremely cringeworthy. The rest isn't much better, with the exception of male lead Sten Jacobs perhaps who is at least bearable and looks almost talented next to his underwhelming co-actors. The whole thing is a mess though. I recommend you to stay far far away.


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