Krabat and the Legend of the Satanic Mill Movie Review

With gorgeous settings and a very dark story, this tale of swords and sorcery is like a nasty twist on the Harry Potter premise. Which of course makes it rather a lot of fun to watch, helped by the fact that it's beautifully filmed and acted.

As the plague sweeps through Europe, orphaned teen Krabat (Kross) is offered a home by an old mill keeper (Redl) who is clearly a mentor for the young men who live and work there. But Krabat immediately notices something strange is going on. Indeed, the master is a sorcerer training his boys in the dark arts. But trouble arises when Krabat and his new friend Tonda (Bruhl) meet two girls (Kalenberg and Thalbach) from a local village. To the master, having a girlfriend is a fatal transgression. And there's only one way to escape.

The plot unfolds gradually, as we unravel secrets along with Krabat, which not only heightens the mystery surrounding this strange community but also adds to the thrill as Krabat discovers his own supernatural powers. These include out-of-body expeditions, levitations and shape-shifting into a raven to soar through the Alpine landscape. There are also a few extremely odd events that are never explained, which is rather daring for the filmmakers but really adds to the intrigue.

As a result, we are able to experience the emotions along with the characters, and this beefs up the intensity as Krabat discovers that these new powers come with a terrible cost. And then there's the issue of who he can trust. Despite the excellent cast, only a few of the boys ever become distinct characters. But as the story continues, there's a complexity to the situation that really grabs our imagination.

So it's inexplicable that this film wasn't a bigger hit when it was released, even with two high-profile festival screenings. Because it boasts a talented director in Kreuzpaintner, who skilfully guides the story with impeccable visuals, both the settings and the effects. The clunky alternative English title hints that it could have been a franchise, but that seems unlikely now.

Cast & Crew

Director : Marco Kreuzpaintner

Producer : , Nick Hamson, Uli Putz, Lars Sylvest, Bernd Wintersperger, Thomas Wobke

Starring : , , , Robert Stadlober, Paula Kalenberg, Hanno Koffler, , Charly Hubner


Krabat and the Legend of the Satanic Mill Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 12, 2010


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