Animals (" Tiere")
"Edgy marital drama, inky black comedy and blood-freezing horror combine to intoxicating effect” - Guy Lodge, VARIETY
“A surreal fairy-tale mixing poetry and terror… A different experience of reality” - Giorgia Del Don, CINEUROPA
Anna (Birgit Minichmayr, seen in Maren Ade’s EVERYONE ELSE) and Nick (Philipp Hochmair, of THE EXPERIMENT) are going through a rough patch. The latter is having an affair with their neighbour Andrea (Mona Petri), while the former is faced with her partner’s infidelity, on top of suffering through a severe creative drought delaying her new novel. Both think they could use some time away, so the couple heads to the Alps in Switzerland, in the hopes that a nice stay at a vacation home might fix things. But what they encounter is stranger than anything they could have imagined: a collision with a sheep unleashes a series of unsettling experiences, and soon, neither Anna nor Nick are able to tell fact from fiction, night from day, jealousy from reality. Talking animals, rekindled frustrations and strange doppelgangers soon become the new norm…
ANIMALS unfolds like something of a Lynchian nightmare, reconfigured to the beat of Andrzej Zulawski’s more unconformable and abrasive vivisections of failing relationships; this is an uncomfortable and mesmerizing downward spiral, chronicling a couple’s disintegration and potential reunion, in every twisty turn and heartbreaking detail. Greg Zglinski directs this strange hybrid of black comedy, marital melodrama and surrealist horror with masterful, often jaw-dropping assurance, showcasing his sharp ear for dialogue, and keener eye for montage, making every layer of reality collide into the other in constantly inventive and surprising ways, until the film’s shocking resolution – a virtuosic boiling point, closing the darkest scenes of a marriage you’ll see this year.
- Ariel Esteban Cayer