Hagazussa (2017) A dread-laden tale of supernatural horror and pyschosis in 15th century Austria. This was an extremely uncomfortable, oppressive watch from start to finish. With little in the way of narrative, the film makes efficient use of mood and tone to convey it’s harrowing story of childhood trauma, sexual abuse, supersition and evil. Much of the film is deliberately ambiguous as it explores the overlapping connections between the psychological disturbances of our protagonist Albrun, social isolation and beliefs in witchcraft. Mostly pretty interesting and, as I say, an extremely tense watch. I have seen it compared to Eggers The Witch (2015). There are some surface level similarities in that both are slow-burn horror films about witchcraft set in the past, but really they are not all that similar. For a start, compared to Hagazussa Eggers film moves at a positively rapid pace. This one is even more firmly entrenched within arthouse and experimental cinema than that (of course not that that makes it a better film necessarily). In addition, while The Witch also deals with Tomasin’s perspective and ultimately how the events impact her, it is more broadly focused on the inherent tensions of the Puritan world-view and the way in which this leads to a breakdown of the family unit. Hagazussa on the other hand is totally bound up with Albrun’s warped and damaged perspective. Of course, there are still a couple of comparisons to be made in terms of the thematic content, but I would simply chalk these up to them both dealing with the same subject matter. Certainly the success of The Witch might have played a part in helping get this funded though. Worth a go if you like artsier, slow films. One that I imagine would certainly frustrate a lot of people but a very promising debut for me.