Martin, with his wife Katharina, has a six-year-old adopted son, Tobias, who suffers from a developmental disorder. They adopted him after his own parents died. Nicole and Christian, a young married couple moves to a neighboring house. Tobias and Nicole, a trained pediatric nurse get along nicely and with Nicole he begins to reveal himself in her presence. Katarina and Martin were initially pleased with Tobias' progress. However, Martin becomes suspicious and begins to spy on two. Nicole seduces Martin and they have sex, but when they quarrel and Nicolesays that she is Tobias's mother and her real name is Judith. She wants to return her son. Christian tells him that Judith should have killed her son at the insistence of her very religious mother. In addition, it turns out that Christian is not only the father of Tobias, but also the brother of Judith.
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Tight, simple thriller with little detours
Writer/director Ramsauer gets a lot of mileage out of a limited budget, thanks to keeping it small and simple, both plot-wise and by keeping the focus on faces and bodies. Half home invasion, half stalking thriller, the plot centers on two couples fighting for the love of a boy (good casting here as with the four main actors, too - mostly veterans in the TV field but newcomer Lili Epply is very convincing as the crazed antagonist Nicole, too!). First the conflict is more hinted at than open, but sooner or later all pretense flies out the window and things get ugly and uglier.
As with many thrillers, the basic setup is a bit contrived, as are some decisions the protagonists have to take so the conflict stays limited to the four adults, but it never felt outright silly and there was a good buildup of tension throughout the movie - with the one exception of a side-plot prior to the finale where we explore Nicole's past; while this may be well-meant on Ramsauer's part, it stops the action and breaks the tension; besides, the motivations behind Nicole's behaviour seem rather cliché. Otherwise, a very good and intimate thriller, recommended!
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