I am a passionate of Switzerland, one of my preferred countries for vacation, a place that won its name for the beauty of its nature, but also for the calm and order that seem to reign in its cities and villages, as well as in the relations between its people. Seldom has the beauty of Switzerland and of its mountains seemed to me so disturbing, so uneasy, as in ‘Tiere’ the film directed by which I have seen a couple of weeks ago at the Haifa International Film Festival. The title was translated in English as ‘Animals’, but should it rather be ‘Beasts’? Better German speakers will tell me, It seems that the director and authors of script learned one of the basic rules of fantastic and horror art, theorized and applied in its writings by the Romanian historian and writer Mircea Eliade: fantastic and horror can be even more efficient when exceptional events and strange phenomenons start in a ‘normal’ and friendly surrounding. The movie directed by  turns a land of vacation that is very familiar to many of us into a land of uncertainty and uneasiness.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6510634

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6510634

 

What we are presented in the film is a collection of inter-related parallel stories. At first time they are quite banal – a mid-class German couple leaves for a few months in the Swiss mountains, they do not seem to be the happiest couple in the world, but is not infidelity nowadays quite banal also? They leave a caretaker in place in their apartment, she seems to have her small misdemeanors as well. The neighbor upstairs falls to her death, was it an accident or a crime, dit it really happen? Yet, all is more complicated than it seems, we soon slide from Woody Allen into Hitchcock territory, because same as the characters in the story we never know what is true and what is cheat, and the style of filming is so designed that we are never sure what is reality, what is dream, or maybe comma delirium. The director plays with the cinema genres as he does with the perspectives of the story telling. At some moments in time ‘Tiere’ looks like characters comedy, at other it is mixing elements of social drama and romantic stories, add to this the fantastic touch that envelops everything as the fog sometimes envelops the landscape of the mountains.

 

(video source Filmcoopi Zürich)

 

I liked much of what I have seen. The film benefits of efficient acting with , , and playing more than three roles, or -if you want – more than three incarnations of their characters. Cinematography is superb. I liked less the ending which commits the sin to try to explain too much. Overall however, ’Tiere‘ is a film to see, not only by fans of the horror films genre.