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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Mehdi Nebbou, Ulrike C. Tscharre, Janna Fautz, Marie Bendig, Ronald Kukulies, Britta Hammelstein, Daniel Drewes
DIRECTED BY
Sebastian Ko
SCREENPLAY
Marcus Seibert, Sebastian Ko
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
95 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
First Run Features
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 "We Monsters" Picked Up by First Run Features for Distribution 
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How far would you go to protect your child?

After their teenage daughter Sarah (Janina Fautz) confesses to the killing of her best friend Charlie (Marie Bendig), the recently separated Paul (Mehdi Nebbou) and Christine (Ulrike C. Tscharre) decide to hide the crime. The collective guilt forces the family back together, a union that creates a web of lifes and deadly intentions with no way out.

Behind a strong ensemble cast, We Monsters is an uncomfortable, disturbing and absolutely compelling film that takes a parent's worst nightmare and keeps toying with it and twisting it and turning it into an emotionally ravaging experience. Director Sebastian Ko rather masterfully creates a film that is both relatable and, in some ways, quite repulsive. Initially, Sarah's actions seem utterly unrelatable and she seems like a hideous beast, though her character evolves into something quite a bit more.

D.P. Andreas Kohler lenses the film in a claustrophobic way, enveloping the characters and inviting the audience inside it as well. Kohler's work helps to build the tension throughout the film, though it's the cast that also really drives it home. The film had its premiere at Germany's Max Ophuls Festival and also had positive screenings at TIFF, Reykjavik and Leiden.

While it may sound like We Monsters is an entirely somber affair, the film is most successful when Ko taps into its pitch black humor and it, unfortunately, doesn't do that quite enough. Still, it's a solid effort from Ko and tremendous performances from the cast, though I was most taken by Janina Fautz as Sarah.

For more information on the film, visit the First Run Features website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

    The Official Rating Guideline
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    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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