Directed by Achim Bornhak
It's summer. One endless, sexy party under the open sky. Tina and her friends are living the dream of a whole generation of decadent Berlin-party-kids. But after one excessive night she's haunted by a mysterious ugly creature in nightmares she has. The only person she talks about her fears to is her psychologist. His advice is to confront her fears and to reach out to the creature. At first Tina refuses but after she hears about her parents' plans to put her in a mental hospital she starts talking to the creature. She slowly realizes that the creature is an incarnation of her fears and that it has the same feelings she does. Afraid of being called a freak she starts hiding the creature in her room. After a while she even gets close to it. It's almost like a relationship with a wild stray animal. For the first time in her life, it almost seems as if Tina has the courage to be herself. But then her parents and her friends see the creature…
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★★★½ review by nathaxnne walker (undead) on Letterboxd
E.T. rip-offs never were quite as prevalent as Alien(s) rip-offs, and Basket Case x E.T. rip-offs even fewer, despite significant overlap thematically and temporally, so a digital hardcore glowstick adolescent uncanny Basket Case x E.T. ripoff that asks and answers what if E.T. hung out and psychically bonded with a freaked-out teenager skirting severe mental illness sort-of drowned out by loud techno, club drugs and strobe lights and no-one was down and E.T. had no home to go back to so just kind of rummaged around in your stuff and needed help with snacks?
★★★★ review by Tobias Luca on Letterboxd
Telekollektiv. Only on Rocketbeans TV. #rbtv
★★★★ review by Hollie Horror on Letterboxd
Der Nachtmahr is a German drama with an undercurrent of fantasy & horror that sucked me in deeper than I was expecting to go, it's everything I had hoped Bad Milo would be minus the poop/shitty comedy, with a metaphoric monster slowly becoming more tangible, more prominent as the story of a 17-year-old girl with problems unravels.
I could have watched 90-minutes of the monster eating potato chips on the floor in front of a TV, but there are plenty of other things to enjoy; Carolyn Genzkow was fantastic, there's a nod to one of my favorite scenes in Risky Business, enough seizure-inducing strobe lighting to make Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning blush, and KIM GORDON! What more do you need?
★★★½ review by PepGuhly on Letterboxd
Der Nachtmahr - Ein deutscher(!) Coming-Of-Age-Film, mit Horror/Thriller-Note, der starke DavidLynch/GasparNoé-Vibes ausstrahlt. Und ein junges Mädchen, das plötzlich ein E.T.-artiges Wesen sieht....puh.
Dieses Vorhaben hätte furchtbar in die Hose gehen können - Dank der konsequenten Machart, den starken Darstellern, besonders Tina (Carolyn Genzkow), und der eigenen Handschrift entsteht jedoch ein wirklich sehenswerter, wie tiefgründiger Film über jugendliche Ängste und das Erwachsenwerden.
Besonderes Lob verdienen meiner Meinung nach Regisseur Akiz, der seine Ideen hier ohne Hindernisse umsetzen konnte. Die Produktionsfirma, die mit 83.000 Euro das Maximum aus allen Bereichen herausgeholt hat. Sowie die krassen Stilmittel (Musik, Beleuchtung, Creature-Design) die den Film skurril und wirklich sehenswert machen.
Ein eigenwilliges Stück deutsches Kino und eine dicke Empfehlung!
★★★★½ review by Chris on Letterboxd
Watched for My Hooptober 2.0
Are you seeing what I'm seeing?
Sometimes there are movies you stumble upon, movies that surprise you in the most wonderful of ways because, to be honest, you didn't expect much of them to begin with. Unlike The Witch which underwhelmed me because of the buzz it was receiving at TIFF, one of the last movies I saw at the festival did the absolute opposite. Der Nachtmahr (a title I never tire of saying), is something special, and I am having difficulty trying to figure out why.
Perhaps it was the flashing lights or banging techno, neither of which I am a huge fan of, but I have to admit that the sheer level of flashing and bass (enough to provide an onscreen warning before the film alerting moviegoers to the extreme strobe effects and deafening volume), mead the movie viewing experience, well, immersive to say the least.
Perhaps it was Carolyn Genzkow, as Tina, a high school student who has a bad experience at a party one night and then finds that she has drawn the attention of an odd little creature that looks like a mixture between "an old man and a fetus" (the director's exact words spoken during the Q&A), and might be only a figment of her imagination. Genzkow looks like a model. Waif-ish and capable of seeming both confident and frightened. She does a great job here dealing with parents and friends who think she is going insane. She is a surprisingly strong center to the film. And in one quite funny scene, she does an awesome impersonation of the creature that is haunting her.
Perhaps it is the creature itself. More adorable than terrifying and truly odd. Though its screen time is limited the creature has a personality that makes it feel alive, an actual presence in the film. While we are uncertain it may actually exist, we are certain that it is real for Tina. And although it may be adorable, as it slowly crawls across the bedroom floor to where Tina sleeps we understand that it's motivations are unclear and for all intents and purposes, it's still a monster.
Perhaps it's the obvious influences on the movie. David Lynch, of course. Mulholland Drive is definitely payed homage to here, with a frightening clip of a car accident that is revisited through the film. The ending too (for me at least it was a perfect one) straight out of Lynch, but still feeling fresh if only for the images it provides. And then there is the almost more obvious nods to, of all things, ET. The plot shifts a bit in the last half, and suddenly Der Nachtmahr is an alternative universe version of that sci-fi classic.
Perhaps it's the Kim Gordon cameo. Out of the blue and surprising. I mean it's Kim Gordon.
Perhaps it's the climax that had me smiling throughout. As Tina takes matters into her own hands, so to speak. I love films where the characters seem to grow emotionally throughout, and Tina sure does here.
Perhaps it's the fact the film shares the name, and takes some inspiration from one of my favorite paintings.
Perhaps it was all of this. Who knows. I don't think this film will impress everyone that sees it. I've read negative reviews and I can understand their criticisms. But for me, at the moment I saw it, I felt like this movie was made for me. And perhaps, me for it.
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