5. Laurin (1989)
In a small port town at the turn of the 19th century, children are disappearing. A mysterious man in black who stalks the town may be Death itself. And nine-year-old Laurin (Dóra Szinetár) is suffering terrifying dreams and hallucinations of a man carrying a sack and frightened children calling for help from behind closed windows. Step by step Laurin tries to unravel this terrifying mosaic and eventually puts her own life at risk.
Directed by Robert Sigl, Laurin is a strange, atmospheric and fantastical film with an amazingly strong visual identity – using colored lights (red, blue and green) to contrast the monochrome historical settings. The film is quite simply an obscure masterpiece of surrealism. The director’s fetishisation of certain details – a doll, a robe, a photo of the young girl’s mother, etc – is also reminiscent of the excessive close-up style of giallo maestro Dario Argento.
Don’t expect any jump scares or anything overtly scary. This movie is more of a mystery than flat-out horror (though it does contain quite a few disturbing scenes). Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys suspense – from beginning to end, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat. Spellbinding, visionary, ambitious and deeply affecting, Laurin is an absolute must-see.
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