Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Wotan Wilke Möhring
What's it about
After a long search and countless hours of hunting, serial killer Gabriel Engel is finally captured in a small town. A cop tries to get Engel to admit to a murder that they've got him pinned to. Unfortunately for the police officer, he's up against a true threat that will reveal itself to be the most difficult thing he's ever had to face.
Is it good movie?
I've heard some great things about Antibodies, and so my expectations were reasonably high when this one slid across my desk. Luckily for me, I wasn't disappointed. I know, I know, the first thing that is always mentioned is the blatant similarity to some Anthony Hopkins flick (in fact, the film itself references it specifically), but put that aside because this flick deserves your attention.
I don't want to spoil the plot here for you. I know that you may expect me to expound upon it, but I think that this is a film better gone into cold. Think of this film as a study of parallels and opposites, role reversals if you will. As the flick goes on, it forces the viewer to try to wrap their head around what's going on and think about what is good, and what is truly evil. Also, you'll notice strong religious themes and a serious god complex going on from our head psycho, Engel.
It's also interesting to note that unlike what we may expect, we don't get an over the top portrayal of a clear psychopath in Engel, instead he is portrayed as a calm and rational every day person- who happens to be an insane murderer. He is pretty off the deep end too- painting with the blood of his victims, and his subject matter of choice is pretty gross. This leads me to my next point- Antibodies is not for the weak of heart. It's not particularly visual, but it deals with some hard stuff like child molestation, murder and rape and will not leave you smiling when it ends.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and enhanced for 16x9 televisions, looking sharp on my home setup. I didn't notice much artifacting, and ghosting wasn't really prevalent either.
Audio comes in Dolby 5.1 and sounds pretty darn decent too.
Disc one contains a couple of trailers.
Disc two has Evil is a Virus, a half an hour interview with director Christian Alvart. It's in English and the guy has a lot to say, and comes off really intelligent. Listen to this; it’s an insightful and smart interview that adds a lot to the understanding of the film.
The making of Antibodies is another half-hour feature that is an all German piece which talks a lot more about the technical creation of the film. It's got standard cast interviews and although it isn't much different from what you would expect, I dug it because I really enjoyed hearing the actors speak about their beliefs and motives behind their characters and the way the flick was made.
Other than that, there are some brief deleted scenes that don't add much and even briefer outtakes, if you dig that.
Serial killer flicks are a dime a dozen these days, often glitzy and glamorous vehicles to make stars looks good. Hollywood sort of celebrates serial killers in a way. This flick tries to go in a bit of a different direction and succeeds, leading the viewer down a dark path full of twists and turns, grounded in realistic and well written characters. I don't plan on watching Antibodies again anytime soon because it isn't the kind of movie you just want to watch over and over- it leaves an effect on you. I recommend it heartily.