Laurin ★★½

So, this here is one of those flicks that I've carried with me since first seeing it back in say early 90's. I only had vague memories of it, and the tape has just moved along with me through the years. A year or two back it surfaced on German bluray, so I picked it up with the intention of revisiting Laurin. Turns out the old video tape and me reunited tonight and the probably better looking high deffo bluray will probably stay in its plastic wrap for ever.

Laurin is a challenging movie. It's not an easy watch because it's a somewhat enigmatic as its told sort of non-linear and out of chronological order. To put it politely, Sigl kind of fucks it up by trying to over arthouse his arthouse flick. But it certainly does hold a lot of atmosphere, some sensational scenes and a couple of surprise horror elements, although it's really more of a surrealist movie than the horror it's often erouneously pigeonholed as. It's lacking obvious opportunity for religious metaphors, and it finds itself dabbling in existentialist and quasi-fantasy themes with a dash of thriller narrative instead, and I believe this is where my issue with the film lies. It's trying a bit too hard to be something out of the eastern block, but ten-twenty years to late.

Krsto Papić's The Rat Savior, Zulawski's The Third Part of the Night, Jaromil Jires' Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Wojciech Has The Hourglass Sanatorium, even Herzog's Nosferatu and Heart of Glass all have an authenticity to them in their surrealist horror arthouse approach that Laurin unfortunately never really levers up to, despite it's atmosphere and enigmatic auteurian approach.

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