Sunday, 4 September 2011



Switzerland's first horror film, apparently: a dark, grim (if not Grimm) and tragic imagining of a Swiss mountain legend which more or less pulls it off but is occasionally a little too complicated with its time line, with the result that you're sometimes unsure exactly when the flashbacks within the flashbacks are actually occurring and you might lose the thread.

Sennentuntschi: Curse Of The Alps tells of the legend of Sennentuntschi: a woman created by lonely mountain farmers out of straw and rags who came to life (with the Devil's intervention) but took her revenge on them when used and abused as their sex slave. Years later, a body is found at the bottom of the mountain and this reopens the local police investigation into what happened up there all those years ago, though the rest of the townspeople would rather forget the incidents ever took place and refuse shelter to the mute Sennentuntschi (Roxane Mesquida, apparently carving out a career in oddball genre movies: she's also in Kaboom, Rubber and Sheitan), even demanding she be burned as a witch. But what secrets are still kept by the most prominent members of the community?

It's long - perhaps too long at 110 minutes or thereabouts - and generally it's pretty good: it's ravishingly shot, it's engrossing, upsetting and occasionally surprisingly graphic in its nudity and sex scenes (I'm wondering if this is the first even semi-mainstream genre movie to include a scene of double penetration, and I can't think of any others). But I genuinely got lost with the timeline several times as it appeared some events were happening at the same time but then clearly weren't. Ultimately Sennentuntschi isn't entirely successful, but it's terrific to look at and holds the attention well. Worth a look as something different and unusual.


No comments: