While searching for wild mushrooms, a boy with a mirror guides a little girl to a small patch, while picking she also horrified to find a body. The body leads detectives back to the 1960’s an unsolved case that is crying out to be solved.
Sennentuntschi: Curse Of The Alps is a world first, the first horror movie to have been made in Switzerland, and the most profitable Swiss movie for some considerable time. It’s also one of the most unusually unique films of the last couple of decades.
A Sennentuntschi is a legend, a woman made of a broom and scraps of cloth, who overnight transform into a very real woman; who cooks, cleans and looks after her men, whom in turn can do whatever they wish to do with her at night. The downfall (of course there needs to be one) is that a period of time, she kills and stuffs them men like they are dolls. It’s this legend that is the basis of the movie; three men up high in the mountains, high on Absinthe make the woman of their dreams, whose presence undoubtedly causes their undoing.
The wonder of the movie is that it is taken from several different angles; it’s a very intense mystery, with some of the most beautiful scenery ever seen on screen. It is also unique in yet another way; it’s a mystery movie that sows up all the loose ends at its conclusion, something that to be honest was incredibly rare at 2011's Film Four Frighfest.
The lovely Rozanne Mesquida (Rubber) stars as the Sennentuntschi, this beautiful actress blows the audience away with her phenomenal performance of a maybe innocent woman, painted with a very dark brush. Playing the movie pretty much as a mute, you really feel the vulnerability that you should from her performance, a lesser actress could have left the film on its arse.
It’s not just Mesquida that works however, the character of Rauch (Nicholas Ofczarek) almost brings a tear to your eye, the biggest innocent of the movie, the man that wants to smooth things over, when the villager at the base of the mountain believe she is responsible for the death of a priest.
The movie (to me at least) feels very much like Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture A Duckling, while it’s a very different movie, both feature similarly beautiful backdrops, and both have an overwhelming feeling of power given to the church, who may not be quite as white as they might seem. Director Michael Steiner took to the stage after the UK premier to explain the reason the movie was set back in the past, and to how the church essentially controlled these small communities before telecommunication really took off.
This is far from being a conventional horror, and I have read some on-line reviews state that it is a tad confusing, however if you give it your full attention, you’ll find it to be a very beautiful movie, that while it’s roots are in horror, its soul is in bringing a flutter to you’re heart.