After really anticipating it for a long time, I got the chance to see Till Kleinert’s genre debut The Samurai. I really was not disappointed. I’m really excited to be giving the movie a review, as I think it’s definitely a movie you should see and visualise yourself because it’s truly something unique and fantastic.

Directed by Till Kleinert

Starring Pit Bukowski, Michel Diercks and Ulrike Hanke-Haensch

Der Samurai begins very mysteriously, wolves run loose in the nearby woods, leaving locals terrified to venture too far. Unbeknownst to them, however, there is another evil in the woods they should be far more scared of. We are first introduced to a young police officer, Jakob (Michel Diercks) who is himself, seemingly naive and mysterious in himself. He’s seen doing a patrol and looking into some wreckage caused by wolves nearby before receiving a package back at his office. We get the idea that he’s a nice guy, just trying to do his job and so, he delivers the package to the correct recipient only to find a strange man in a white gown staking out in an abandoned house. From here, a rampant turn of events begins to appear evident.

All the actors really serve this story well, the acting, the dimension they added to their characters gave this movie a flair that I haven’t seen before. The chemistry between Pit Bukowski and Michel Diercks really carried The Samurai into a new kind of horror that had a raw, animalistic nature to it. Between The Samurai showing Jakob how to release his inhibitions and Jakob’s returning naivety, there was an apparent tension between the two that elevated the brutal conflict within the film. I especially felt for Jakob’s grandmother (Ulrike Hanke-Haensch), her level of scene setting gave her performance something to feel remorse over as well as an added sense of familiarity to Jakob himself.

The overall atmosphere throughout the movie is very ‘deadpan’ in its cinematography, tones and emotions. There’s a real sense of unease throughout that unsettles the viewer, yet makes them wholly want to see more. I really like this style of filmmaking as there’s always questions that are raised (yet still answered) as well as other sides to characters being revealed in another light. A lot of the more intense, dramatic scenes use music to elevate emotions and cut or fade out depending on a character’s own emotion or reaction, which is a really great tool for narrative. The cinematography and the atmosphere together really set the creepier, underlying tones that we see throughout.

During the film we’re treated to some amazing cinematography that keep up the mystery element and draw you into knowing more about the story, the characters and where they’re going. There’s a lot to take in, but the pay off is incredible. I loved the use of black space around characters and the covering of half of the ‘villain’s’ face. It gives the personality a three dimensional touch and shows a more animalistic, driven on instinct character as well as his true intentions.

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Shrouded in cleverly thought out cat-and-mouse games and looking into the animalistic urges of those seemingly innocent really puts this film out there as one of the most interesting, unique and conceptually incredible pieces I’ve seen. With an equally gripping end, I really enjoyed The Samurai and I definitely think you will too. Give this film a chance, and let me know what you thought of it! I definitely understand the great reception it has had so far. Definitely 5 skulls for this movie (☠☠☠☠☠)!

To support the movie further, please do have a look into Peccadillo Pictures and the movie’s Facebook page. Definitely look into the actors featured in the movie as they’ve done an incredible job and do support Till Kleinert and give some of his other movies a watch. He’s definitely got a flair!

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