Der Nachtmahr – The Creature in my Closet
There is nothing mild about adolescence. It is intense, confusing, often cruel. Everything seems important; for instance, is the boy with the purple hair looking at you from afar? And teenage years retain their mystery after they’ve passed, to a point where grownups find it difficult to understand their own children as they are strangely molting into adulthood.
Berlin based artist AKIZ has an acute understanding of how nightmarish coming-of-age can be. In his self-described “narcotic-mindfuck-melodrama” Der Nachtmahr, 17-year-old Tina (newcomer Carolyn Genzkow) has a hard time fitting in. When, at a wild techno party, her smartass friends show off one ultra violent video too many on their mobiles, she struggles to fake nonchalance. She is not as desensitized as the others. Shortly after, things take a turn for the worse as she starts experiencing these spooky visions for real. Tina is convinced that a creepy little monster is haunting her, and the fact that only she can see it draws suspicions on her mental balance.
AKIZ electrifies his dark romance with stroboscopic flashes and a loud techno soundtrack, and his suitable use of wide-angle lenses contributes to taking us on an almost hallucinatory trip by trooper Tina’s side.
Vivid, suspenseful and perfectly modern, the unclassifiable Der Nachtmahr could well have all audiences agree, from thrill seekers to Freud enthusiasts, without forgetting Kim Gordon fans. Indeed, the musician makes a notable appearance as a teacher able to recognize in Tina a superior ability to connect with her inner self, however uncanny it feels and… looks like.Aurélie Godet