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||IMDB Rating: 7.1/10 from 5,936 votes
||Release: 7 July 2005 (Germany) /
||Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
||Director: Christian Alvart,
||Stars: André Hennicke, Christian von Aster, Domenico D'Ambrosio, Gudrun Ritter, Hauke Diekamp, Heinz Hoenig, Holger Franke, Jürgen Schornagel, Klaus Zmorek, Konstantin Graudus, Laura Alberta Szalski, Norman Reedus, Ulrike Krumbiegel, Waltraud Witte, Wotan Wilke Möhring
||Synopsis: Long wanted serial killer Gabriel Engel gets arrested in a spectacular police strike. Small town cop Michael Martens travels to the big city to interrogate him. He associates a brutal murder case with the killer's method and hopes to close the case by getting a confession from Engel. Instead the clash of the two totally opposite characters shakes Michaels beliefs to the ground, turning him into a dangerous threat, an enemy to the people around him. Written by Napoleon Wilson
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Watch Antikörper - Alternative Versions.
I would recommend not reading how IMDb bills the movie, I won't say why
other than if you don't and you see this movie, it will be a richer
experience for it. Basically though, the movie is about the capture of
serial killer Gabriel Engel played by André Hennicke, someone the
Police have been trying to catch for a very long time. A small town
cop, Michael Martens played by Wotan Wilke Möhring, comes to
interrogate him over the disappearance of a child from his village and
makes more headway than the Detectives have. However the meeting
troubles Martens, and the two characters suddenly seem not as far apart
as their roles suggest.
The opening of the movie grabs you by the throat. It portrays Engel,
the killer, being tracked to his apartment and captured by the Police
but not without a battle first. It's dark, violent and extremely
exciting cinema at this point and it shows you immediately the
intelligence, cold calculation and sheer determination of the serial
killer. It sets the movie perfectly, and tells you a lot about Engel.
It's superbly shot and visualised, and had a fair amount of the cinema
on the edge of their seats with audible excitement from the people next
I have to then mention what happens after this scene, the titles. It
struck me just how good these looked and I became fascinated with them.
The words appear on the background and begin to move slowly across the
screen. As they do so any foreground object that appears or walks
across them, does so over the top and the title moves behind them. For
some reason this simple effect was highly engaging and coupled with the
unique angles and gentle scenes that played out, I was totally
The good camera work follows on from the initial scenes, there are some
unusual angles and shots used but they are never obtrusive. The camera
is secondary and you do feel yourself pulled into the film by the
strength of the story and characters, not noticing the camera moving
Hennicke as the serial killer steals the show. He is utterly
enthralling when he is on screen, and carries the role with complete
believability and passion, I do mean that as a compliment. There is no
real appeal for this character, yet he has a fascination, kind of like
the scene of an accident where everyone slows down to look.
Möhring is equally as strong, and he is engaging because you identify
so much with him and want him to win through. The chemistry between the
two actors during their interview scenes is excellent, the power and
strength of the killer against the insecurity and uncertainty of the
cop are played out very well. These scenes provide for some great
moments with some excellently written dialogue between them both. His
slow descent and the way he is affected by the killers words is
expertly handled. The way his life and his personality is slowly
changed one step at a time is very strongly written.
The relationships between the cop and his wife and father-in-law are
positioned early on in the movie and incredibly naturally, this is
something I really liked about this movie, there's no exposition that
is glaringly obvious, and even when it is made to the audience it's not
always made in black and white, you have some assumptions to make. I
really liked that, it means you have to do some of your own thinking
rather than be spoon fed.
Another interesting triangle of relationships is that between the two
cops and the killer, all have different personalities at the beginning
of the movie but as it progresses Martens grows closer to them both.
Again well written and visualised characters with strong and believable
The movie looks at the effect of strong faith and belief on a person
and the family unit. The lead begins as a staunch religious believer
and good all round character, and it's later in the film where his
faith and belief are eroded and the doubt enters his mind. During the
Q&A after the movie, Christian Alvart the Writer and Director said that
the role of the killer is that of the doubting voice, of total doubt.
The idea being that the two characters are the extremes, and it's from
these extremes at either end of the spectrum that people can leap to
becoming a fanatic. A fanatic as in the killer, or a religious fanatic.
It's this that he wanted to show in the movie. It's only when the
reconcile the extremes that they become a person and not a fanatical
There are some shades of comparison with The Silence of the Lambs and
the superior Manhunter, but these are inevitable considering the
interviewing of a serial killer. There's also comparison with another
movie that people will make, and I shan't tell you which, this is
something Alvart himself acknowledges, but didn't realise until after
he had filmed it. There's no negative aspect to this and the
connections are quite superficial, the power and strength of this movie
are in the many other layers, not the top glossy layer, but deeper in
the characters, family life and fanaticism.
The ending is extremely well crafted, if not entirely well hidden. It's
strong, suspenseful and the closing fifteen or so minutes are probably
the most suspenseful and exciting I've watched in a long, long time,
the audience gasped during these last moments. I thoroughly recommend
this movie, especially before the deal is made for a US remake, and it
will be, Alvart said as much during the Q&A. So see it now, it's a
superb movie with some excellent performances and a very strong script.
This was undoubtedly the best movie of the Edinburgh Film Festival 2005
Tags for Antikörper Full Movie
, Christian von Aster
, Domenico D'Ambrosio
, Gudrun Ritter
, Hauke Diekamp
, Heinz Hoenig
, Holger Franke
, Jürgen Schornagel
, Klaus Zmorek
, Konstantin Graudus
, Laura Alberta Szalski
, Norman Reedus
, Ulrike Krumbiegel
, Waltraud Witte
, Wotan Wilke Möhring
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