David Garrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nightmares Film Festival Movie #7
This was the first film to check off Day 3 at Nightmares Film Festival. We got to see this for its United States premiere. Knowing that, I glanced to see that this is a German film. The bit of information that was provided during the introduction had me curious to see how they would use it to tell this story.
For this, we are following Malina (Sina Martens). She is inside of a trunk. It starts when the driver is stopped. I don’t believe we get her captor’s name, but he is creepy. Malina has her cellphone. She uses it to send messages to sister, father and her boyfriend, Enno (Artjom Gilz). She is also able to get through to the police and works with Elisa Kühne (Luise Helm). She has limited information, but Malina won’t give up. It is a fight for survival that goes to places she never expected.
When they said that this takes place mostly in a trunk. This reminded me of The Call with Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Instead of seeing this from the side of the 911 operator, we solely with Malina. I need to pull in cinematography here as it is magic. They can capture that claustrophobic feel of being locked inside like she is, but also create enough room to see her do different things. It is one of those movies where one piece of information leads to the next. We know that Malina has a medical degree. She doesn’t panic when she can’t feel her legs and can also patch herself up as she has injuries.
Now it does feel a bit convenient that she has her cellphone. I would think that everyone would check for that first. I will give a bit of leeway here as it does seem like it was a rush to get her into the trunk before anyone sees. She is also supposed to be knocked out and it is a lucky thing that Malina woke up when she did. These were things that I thought about when watching this.
I’ll also say that the rest of the filmmaking was good. There is CGI here, but I’m not sure how else you would do these things. The acting around Martens was good. She carries this and for good reason. Gilz, Helm, Charles Rettinghaus and Janina Sachau also deserve credit. I would bet that this was also made during pandemic with how small a cast we have, but that doesn’t hinder this in the slightest. I rather enjoyed this and it is one of my favorites from the film festival. It raised my anxiety and the tension with how believable something like this happening. How she discovers and relays information was believable as well. Something I didn’t bring up was the limited battery that she has and that is rapidly being used.
I’d recommend giving this a watch if you come across it. I will say that this was subtitled. There is a bit of English used, but it is mostly in German from what I remember.
My Rating: 8 out of 10