Directors: Katharina Schöde, Felix Fuchssteiner
*Contains minor spoilers
What it’s about
It’s six months before graduation at an elite high school for the wealthy. Finn, has suffered a life changing trauma as a child with the loss of his older sister, Anna. He’s heavily medicated, only to find out something suspicious is going on in town. There’s a few things happening here; we have a supernatural element, a possible cult, a large conspiracy, oh, and a parasitic demon fungus that’s primed to take over hosts.
What I Thought
I liked it. It started off well, no slow burns here. When you have a bunch of horror tropes in one movie it can come across as over ambitious, bordering on pretentious. However, this movie pulled it together and wove a very interesting and unique story. The young leads were all exceptional. There were some really creepy scenes and the overall ominous tone made it appealing.
Finn still has flashbacks of the night his older sister, Anna died. He’s being treated for trauma and depression with medication. He has a non-identical twin sister, Sophie who seems relatively unaffected by the passing of their sister. You also have the very Stepford-like parents who go about their days, never mentioning the death of their eldest daughter.
Finn begins seeing supernatural hallucinations and sleepwalking. His family simply write him off as being crazy. He lives a very privileged life you see, and he should be grateful he’s told, but his grandfather is also dying and he shares a very close bond with him. And although he feels something is just not right with the people around him, everyone assures him, it’s just him. It’s all in his mind.
At the same time, Finn is trying to finish high school and we have a scene of foreshadowing in biology class where the teacher is explaining fungus. Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis in particular. A pathogenic fungus that attacks insects, ants in particular. The fungus inhabits a host, takes over its body and reproduces, essentially turning the host into an unwilling zombie.
When sister Sophie, now approaching 18, the same age Anna was when she died, starts changing, Finn becomes concerned and on high alert with his best friend Lena.
Upon closer examination of the medication Finn takes, the two discover something inside. Something moving. After confirming with their teacher that it’s indeed a fungus they track down an expert. Luckily she’s also an expert in the occult as well because THIS particular fungus?… It’s demonic.
This is where it really picks up.
There’s a town conspiracy amongst the rich elite that they’ve been hiding for decades, almost all of the kids are being medicated, and Finn and his friends are about to blow the whole thing wide open.
I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the movie was shot really well with a pretty high production value, Also, FYI- the English dub is excellent. Some really creepy scenes, a few well done jump scares, a little body horror and gore, paired with some humor made it an exciting watch. A couple of dips but nothing to really complain about. I even liked the ending. I’d say it’s definitely worth your time if you’re in the mood for something different.
Was this a social commentary of the overmedication of young people? Perhaps. What did you think?
“Talk to your doctor about Trychozepam today. Side effects may include: hallucinations, possession, unsightly fungal growth, a rapid change in personality, and the end to everything you thought was true.”
Where to find it