(List) 20 Must-See German Horror Movies

17. Anatomy (2000)


Anatomy tells the story of Paula Henning (Franka Potente) and her new friend Gretchen (Anna Loos) attending Germany’s most intensive medical course at Heidelberg University. When the body of a man she met on the train turns up on a dissection table Paula begins to investigate just how he got there. In doing so she uncovers a psychotic, ritualistic group of unethical experimenters and researchers known as the Anti-Hippocratic Society.

Despite the film’s extremely gruesome subject matter, the level of gore here is kept surprisingly low; plenty of nasty stuff happens to the characters, but careful framing and editing keeps it from being overly explicit. What gore there is, though, is very well handled (there’s a great scene in which a victim stares down at his hand to find that parts of it have been stripped of skin and flesh to expose muscle and bone).

Although it occasionally strays a little too far into clichéd American-slasher territory for its own good, for the most part Anatomy is a refreshingly original effort that delivers a wonderfully sinister premise, plenty of suspense, a macabre atmosphere, stylish direction from director Stefan Ruzowitzky, a morbid sense of humor, and solid performances from its young cast. It’s a noteworthy effort that any genre fan should check out.

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