Directed by: Christian Alvart
Starring: Wotan Wilke Möhring, André Hennicke, Hauke Diekamp, Heinz Hoenig, Nina Proll
Language: German (English subtitles)
Genres: Detective/Mystery, Serial Killers, Old-Young, Family
Plot – Spoilers:
Michael Martens is a cop in a small German farming village obsessed with finding the killer of a little girl who was brutally murdered a few years back. The murder shook the village up and Martens sees himself as the one who can bring an end to the suspicion and prevailing fear.
The movie begins with the killer being arrested by cops in a dramatic scene that involves him frolicking around in the nude, smeared in blood. A pedophile who killed young boys, he denies butchering the young girl. The detectives assigned to the case don’t believe his bullshit rants and bring in Martens to see if he can get the killer to confess.
Martens is already struggling with the distance his obsession has added to his relationships with his community and family members, and the visit to the city fills him with temptation, guilt and alarmingly, a new taste for a darker unexplored side.
Wotan Wilke Möhring as Martens with his boyish looks is believable as the naive yet tormented small-town cop. The killer senses his vulnerabilities and psychologically tries to play with his mind, planting seeds of suspicion that threaten to tear Martens apart.
Nina Proll stars in a short sex scene that elicits previously unexplored impulses from Martens.
Martens and his stuck-up disapproving father in law: All their moments together where Martens despite his position of power as a policeman finds himself helpless and bullied by the vindictive older man. The dog killing scene is quite impactful because in the lead up to it, we start to believe that at this point in his life, Martens only seems to be able to connect with his dog. And to see it shot dead makes us feel for his loneliness and misery.
Martens and his son: Not my Son, Not my Son!
After the little pyromaniac wannabe sets fire to his sister’s dollhouse, Martens loses it briefly. In the lead up to this scene, we see Martens is struggling and traumatized by the concept of evil to the point of losing interest in hunting deer. To then see his son slipping away into the dark side right in front of his eyes becomes unbearable.