Sunday, July 10, 2016

Angst (1983) “The cognitive wavering of a serial killer”

Who would of thought in 1983 the most mentally involved and realistically portrayed movie about a serial killer would have been released?

Angst is an Austria Proto-Slasher film about a man who’s imprisoned for 15 years for the murders of his mother and a random stranger. As the movie starts from his prison cell, the murderer tells us his story about why he is the way he is, as it happens to be the day that he is finally and mistakenly released from prison after 15 years. The man goes on a journey of re-self-discovery as he navigates a world 15 years later, finding out that he still has the same murderous urges, well realizing how awkward and self deprecating he actually is around girls of the current time which makes him desire homicidal mutilation even more. As the man stumbles upon a lone house in the woods, evil energy starts to take hold and chaos runs rampant.


Angst does something that was never fully delved into with any Slasher-esque films, allow us to accompany the villain on his murderous rampage and almost sympathize and coddle them as they try to go about their creative process of irreversible carnage. To immediately understand where the killer is coming from while at the same time begging them to stop and rethink their choices. The most fascinating part about this movie is noticing that the other characters in the movie aren’t given a voice, everything is seen based on the killer’s perspective, so only emotions are apparent not motives from the otherwise protagonists which gives a hopelessness that hasn’t been explored in type movies such as Psycho, as at same point in those films interference is hailed from outside characters. Throughout Angst you come to the conclusion that our hero is unfortunately the antagonist.


The film makes artful decisions in developing a slasher’s strategy that is effective in the sense of watching the human struggle. Trying to get away and stay alive looks more poetic and ironically euphoric as things play out than in anything else in horror film. The movement of certain characters bodies mixed with the killers narrative speaking voice and back and forth contemplation, acts like watching an intriguing visually pleasing puzzle orchestration.

I can’t help but think……..if you were to make a movie about Jeffery Dahmer or Son of Sam without having it to be a crime procedural, this would be the most accurate way to go that is scary as all hell.

Now whether Angst is a Horror-Slasher film or just an Art film is neither here nor there, as it’s a movie that has an idea in mind and plays it out and those are some of the best kinds of movies. If you’re looking for something lethal yet interesting, you’re here.

-          Maurice Jones

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