Ms Pospisil (Berta Kammer) is getting on in years, and her son (Philipp Hochmair) is worried about her. He doubts that she should still be living alone, but Ms Pospisil is highly offended when he suggests a senior residence. She intends to stay in her apartment – even after a mysterious crack in the wall appears that harbors ants – and something else. She intends to fight for her home.
Der Riss starts as an effective scary film, and then suddenly turns into a Christimas RomCom, and that is the best fucking plot twist I have seen in a very long time.
Der Riss starts off creepy enough – even though it always has a sense of humor and delivers its horror with a wink, there certainly are some scary moments. But somewhere along the way, so gradually that you barely notice it, things shift. And then the film ends up being an outright comedy with a very definitely romantic note. I can imagine that this won’t appeal to everyone, but I can honestly say that I adored this.
It’s a lot to ask of Berta Kammer who is practically in every minute of the film and always the emotional anchor. Fortunately, she is more than up to this task. She is fantastic. I also enjoyed Hochmair as her overeager son and Eva Maria Marold as the nosy but helpful neighbor, but this is the Berta Kammer show and rightly so.
This is Ertl’s first film (I think, it is actually his graduation film for film school, if I’m not mistaken) and in its idiosyncratic mix of genres and its sense of humor, it definitely promises great things. In fact, I think the biggest flaw for me was that it is only about 50 minutes long. I would have liked more. But then again, it’s also just right, so me wanting more is just an expression of how good it was.
In short, it was the perfect final film for the festival for me, albeit unplanned. I tested positive for COVID the next day and was out of circulation from then on. But I am glad that I still caught this.
Summarizing: absolutely charming.