EVIL Slums In The Company of Others. “Hausen” reviewed! (Sky Atlantic / Eps. 1-4 / Digital Screeners)

Jaschek moves into a property supervisor position of a slum housing complex with his 16-year-old son, Juri, after the tragic fiery death of his wife. Trying to rebuild and rebound on what’s left of his and his son’s life and waiting for the insurance money to pay out, Jascheck tends to the decrepit building maintenance and, over time, meeting the cold, strung out, and peculiar tenants while Juri attends school and becomes interested with the building’s discretionary drug pushing youths. When a young couple’s baby goes missing, the mysterious disappearance motivates Juri into an investigation, leading his curiosity to discover that the building itself, and the insidious sludge that oozes nearly from every crevice, feeds on the suffering and pain of the inhabitants.

When a black, wet stain on the wall embodies a biological presence of asexual spores and elicits the instinctual first thought of alarm sounding bells ringing to back away in your mind, this is how Till Kleinert and Anna Stoeva injects fear and biotic crud with their new horror television series, “Hausen.” It’s Bloggin’ Evil got to sample the first four episodes of the German 8-episode series that showcases director Thomas Stuber’s dank complexion of anthropomorphized leeching of the lower class, filmed partially inside an East Germany, 20 plus year abandoned hospital, once known as the GDR Hospital, located in Berlin. Kleinert is the writer and director of 2014’s “Der Samurai,” pulling from his film the lingering disembodied or dreamlike and integrating that surrealism imagery for the new series, and collaborates with first time writer, long time producer Anna Stoeva, one half of the boutique film production company, Tanuki Films. “Hausen” is a production of the Berlin-based company Lago Film, who co-coordinated the production on David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” under department head, producer Marco Mehlitz.

“Hausen” primarily focuses around a reestablishing father and son, Jaschek and Juri, after a tragic house fire that claimed the life of Juri’s mother. The series starts off with the two driving up to the housing complex and breaking themselves right away into a runaway rundown building that needs more than just a sprucing up. “Transporter: The Series'” Charly Hübner plays the handy father, Jaschek, with non-expressive can-do attitude that becomes a block of interrelation between him and his son Juri in another unreadable performance from Tristan Göbel of Lago Film’s “Goodbye Berlin. That inexpression is the intentional tone of “Hausen’s” entire cast of tenant characters who float through a barely-living existence, most living grubbily, few living in humble comfort, but all being exploited by the organic narcotic that’s living, breathing, and striving from the inhabitant suffering. Hübner and Göbel impassively shepherd along the story along that introduces new characters into new episodes that digs deeper into the complex’s black, oozy, heart symbiotically connected to a caretaker known as Kater, the very first character Juri and Jaschek meet upon arriving at the building for the first time. The autodidact Alexander Scheer touts an unkempt, dirtied, and made to look like a complete hobo in Kater who, unlike his onscreen cohorts, vitalizes the screen with wild-eye expressions and an unsurmountable jocularity and puckish wit. The series rounds out with stars Lilith Stangenberg (“Bloodsuckers – A Marxist Vampire Comedy”), Stefan Haschke (“Krabat and the Legend of the Satanic Mill”), Daniel Sträßer, and Andrea Guo.

“Hausen’s” intended aloof pulse courses consistently throughout, at least in the first four episodes, that piece together and induce layers of grayscale personalities that have been cross affected by the building’s malevolent life force and the subjugating delinquent class that feel no need to make their surroundings better as their stuck in a vicious cycle rut of drugs and despondency. “Hausen” allegorically uses horror to intensify the already tragic aspects of corrupted ethical life choices people make when drugs are prioritized as more important than others and even their own lives. The first episode features a young couple with an infant and as they attempt to stay clean and withhold what little money saved for a new and better apartment, the building reacts by taking measures in the form of tormenting the husband’s brittle sobriety as he’s caring for the baby alone. He passes out and wakes to find the familiar narcotic he can’t seem to escape on his person. The scene mirrors good intentions of abusers who fall into withdraw with the withdraws being symbolically displayed as the building’s evil doings to keep the pain profit flowing. Overall, “Hausen” drips with underbelly exploitation that doesn’t stop with just the adverse, malignant housing as it spreads into Juri and Jaschek’s tense relationship and into the ounce of good left inside them, fleshed out in scenes that become a crossroad of choices where choice A) is to do the worst thing possible to compromise the smidgen of hope left or choice B) to reserve themselves into taking the harder, but good moral standing, road and work at rekindling a tattered bond that would go against everything the “Hausen” has thrown at them.

A skyscraper of bleak and austere horror, “Hausen” houses a slick secretion of mystery in every crevice. The Sky Germany produced horrifying mystery-thriller is now out in the UK on Sky Germany’s sister-programming, Sky Atlantic. A statically lit doom and gloom scenes never venture away from the tinted battleship gray and blue color scheme that goes hand-and-hand with a cleaned up GDR hospital shots from cinematographer, Peter Matjasko, that’s reminiscent of David Fincher films = think “Alien 3” but with way less yellows. The black sludge is a satisfying unnatural pigment of midnight black that contrasts nicely against said tinted lens coloring, providing a catheter of continuously streaming tenebrosity. We’ll have to wait and see how Juri, Jaschek, and the rest of the tenants fair in the last four episodes that shafted us with a plummeting cliffhanger midway through and, hopefully, ItsBlogginEvil.com can provide more coverage on the unnerving new television series that will put a stain your soul.

Cross-Dressing, Katana Wielding Evil! “Der Samurai” review!

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In a small German village, Jakob, a police officer, encounters a blonde cross-dresser wielding a samurai sword who reeks havoc throughout the village. Before Jakob can make an arrest, the decapitating murderer quickly vanishes and reappears during random points of the night. Jakob soon realizes that this cross-dresser killer has more in store for Jakob who, before the strange encounter, struggled to remain above the water living in a town that doesn’t seem to want him there. Does this dangerous individual hold to key to the answers of Jakob’s questions or is he just a mental head case wielding a katana for the fun of it?
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“Der Samurai” is certainly an interesting piece of German cinema that’s difficult to follow, but if you dig deep and look closely into the bones of the film, a glimpse into the personal life of our hero Jakob and his conquering of personal struggles is clear to the mind’s eye through the interpretation of writer and director Till Kleinert in his sophomore film. Jakob, portrayed by Michel Diercks, doesn’t quite fit in in his small hometown village; he has no outside life as he spends his every waking moment taking care of his grandmother when not on official police duty, his boss is constantly degrading him, and the town doesn’t respect his job given authority. While he struggles through these life issues, his work obsession becomes with a wolf that has been sited in the village. Since nothing ever happens his his small village, the wolf is the most interesting thing ever to happen as far as crime goes.
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The wolf is hardly seen throughout the movie except for a few brief sightings and up until near the end and the reason for that is the katana wielding, cross-dressing maniac Jakob happens upon. The cross-dressing psychopath, played by Pit Bukowski, is a representation of the wolf and the wolf represents the epic struggle in Jakob’s pitiful life. If he can overcome the epic struggle, then he’ll be free of all the insecurities that have burdened to him and dished out by his insincere village folk. However, the quest to best the manic isn’t going to be easy and will be bloody.
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With a title like “Der Samurai,” there will be blood, but the production crew had to use cheap tricks to make the realistic violence work and work well. These cheap tricks were very well done and certainly didn’t look phony or cheesy on screen. The effects are also very experimental and up for interpretation. At one point when a character is decapitated, a spectacular display of blood and fireworks skyrocket out of the neck as a sort of spirtual release for the poor headless character. Experimental and up for interpretation, just like the androgynous character that Pit Bukowski portrays. What kind of sexual desires are being explored here between Jakob and the maniac? At first, I thought maybe Jakob was the maniac due to his boss questioning Jakob on the phone that he might be dressed up and wielding a katana and when his grandmother, in a frightened state, claims that the person tending to her was not her grandson when clearly it was Jakob tending to her. This all changes when other police officers and town folk also see the cross-dresser, putting to defunct the speculation that Jakob was this cross-dresser.
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Artsploitation Films brings to Blu-ray home video “Der Samurai” and we’re lucking to have a film like this to be available now in America. However, the 1080p widescreen 1.85:1 transfer isn’t up to the Blu-ray quality one would think. There lies a lot of grainy noise interference, perhaps to the low lighting provided for the film as much of duration is shot in the dark. Didn’t look like to me that there was any digital noise reduction used to smooth out the specks. The Dolby Digital 5.1 German dialogue with English subtitles is flawless and all the subtitles sync up well with the characters’ dialogue. Bonus features include a commentary with director Till Kleinert and Producer Linus de Paoli, a theatrical trailer, and a behind the scene featurette that is actually worth looking into as much of the background and backstory is explained. I’d recommend this German horror to all to experience and, to put the cherry on top, you’ll get to see an erect penis! Enjoy!