when I started watching this film I was prepared for just another German TV movie. I was surprised to get much more. the whole movie is set in austria and uses beautiful landscapes to build a mysterious setting. the setting serves as the background for a thriller plot that seems simple at first but becomes more and more complex as the movie unfolds.
The film uses all the key elements of horror but tells a dramatic crime story.
There are many nods to modern horror movies, the biggest is the appearance of Dr. Herbert West from the Re-Animator movies. It is funny how the previous poster thinks of those references as rip offs while they are clearly meant to serve as an homage and entertain horror fans.
The characters act like real people rather than the comic characters we know from most horror films. The way the policeman reacts to the events around him leads to a fatal chain reaction that sets up a much bigger threat than the "monster" itself.
Still there are some weak points. The horror elements are shown in a very German way and the thriller elements sometimes look like taken out of a tatort movie. (a German TV series about local crime stories).
The illusion of a "boogey man" haunting the small town isn't shown properly and doesn't work out throughout the movie. There are also not enough shockers in the movie to serve as a true horror film. On the other hand it doesn't have to be and maybe doesn't want to be.
I personally loved that the movie was told from a woman's point of view. You can tell that the director is a woman by the way the characters are handled. Sophies conflict with her father is told in such a touching way, that it gives the movie the depth that American horror movies usually lack. We share Sophies fear for her son Klaus and her struggle with the towns residents.
I give this movie 8 out of 10 points for taking me on an emotional roller-coaster that didn't allow me to sleep for hours.