Tattoo (I) (2002)

  |  Crime, Drama, Horror

Tattoo (2002) Poster

Two police detectives, a grizzled veteran and one fresh-faced rookie, hunt a ritualistic serial killer murdering people with tattoos and skinning them.


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13 April 2007 | DVD_Connoisseur
Dark, atmospheric and brooding euro-horror / thriller
"Tattoo" is a first class macabre psychological horror movie / thriller from director Robert Schwentke. From the start, its cold colour palette and distanced camera-work create a dark and sinister atmosphere. Nightclub life in the world of "Tattoo" appears depressing and emotionless. This is a world where there is little laughter, only pain.

Schwentke manages to create an on-screen world where the fantastic events of this tale seem believable. Inspired by the German expressionist movement, it's a fantastic achievement and although comparisons will always be made with Fincher's "Se7en", I think "Tattoo" is the superior film.

The cast are excellent. August Diehl plays the young cop who is blackmailed into joining Christian Redl on the grittier side of police work. Diehl's first case is the murder of a young woman who was into self-mutilation and who died shortly after biting off a man's finger...and swallowing it. The beautiful Nadeshda Brennicke plays Maya Kroner whose secrets take the story in an exciting and unpredictable direction.

While the subject of people being murdered for their tattoos is not new (Roald Dahl's short-story "Skin" covers the same ground), the film's plot is gripping and effectively told.

After viewing this film shortly after "Antikörper" and "Kontroll," it would appear that some of the best psychological horror films of the noughties are coming out of Europe. Rich on atmosphere and slightly other-worldly, these films are a delight to watch.

9 out of 10.

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