Yella ★★★★

From Berlin School auteur Christian Petzold comes this haunting psychological thriller that borrows its structural framing and flirtation with the uncanny from Herk Harvey’s 1962 lo-fi horror triumph Carnival of Souls. Nina Hoss is riveting in the title role, persuasively expressing Yella’s shell-shock from the traumatic incident involving her abusive ex that kicks the story off as well as her low-key self-assuredness in the business meetings that take up most of the movie’s runtime. The realism that characterizes much of the dialogue and settings - believably bland office buildings and a nondescript hotel - heightens the chill when the movie slips into an eerier register, and we wonder what’s actually real and what’s not.

Michael liked these reviews