Musician Gabriel and dimpled dry-cleaning proprietress Gabriela live like two strangers who no longer see each other. But in humorous contrast to their staid, passionless lives, characters ... See full summary »
Paul Octavian Diaconescu
Good, but poor acting keeps it from reaching its full potential
First off, let's start by saying that this is not a horror movie, but I would consider it more like a slower-paced psychological thriller with a creepy atmosphere, sort of a Gothic work of art reminding me of Edgar Allan Poe. Don't expect any jump-up scares, because you won't get any (or maybe just a light one).
The strong point of the movie is that it is successful in recreating a veridic creepy, morbid atmosphere with a very slight horror touch. The setting and the effects are cleverly used to induce such a state. It is all the more worth our appreciation since I believe it is the first Romanian movie in history not only to try, but also to achieve this. Another positive aspect is the interesting and I daresay gripping story.
However, its one true downside is the acting of the actor interpreting the main character, Tudor Istodor. In almost every scene he appears stiff and behaves totally unnaturally. Ioana Anton playing Sanda doesn't cause as much damage as Istodor (although her acting is far from good), while Maia Morgenstern's performance, though decent, can't compensate for the shortcomings of the previous two. This results in a very unconvincing overall act, frustrating the movie of its real potential. Nonetheless, there is one actor who shines, and that is little Ioana Sandu playing Simina. Her natural creepy performance is just great at doubling the gloomy atmosphere.
All in all, despite the previously mentioned defects, the movie is well worth a try, most of all because it is the first Romanian title of this genre. If you're willing to overlook the acting flaws you can find it fairly entertaining, as I did. Not to mention that it stirred my desire to read Eliade's works.
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