Klischee is a Crime, Horror, Mystery and Thriller movie directed by Marcel Walz with Sabrina Brencher, Marcel Walz, Birte Hanusrichte
Klischee, when translated from German to English, unsurprisingly comes out as “cliché.” I had to use the internet to find that out, but I could have just watched writer/director Marcel Walz’s 2009 release and probably figured it out myself. That’s not to say that this film is necessarily bad, but rather this director has apparently watched a lot of horror movies (as have we all) and is easily able to put their pieces together in a very familiar way. Where I’m lost on this is, well, why?
I will say, the version of this shot on video film I am using for my review has no subtitles, so we’re going to be at a loss when it comes to dialogue (and maybe important plot points that are spoken but not shown throughout the movie). That being said, for the most part the story moves in a fairly straight forward and understandable manner, even without dialogue; a credit to the people who put the movie together.
Tell me if you’ve seen this one: a random girl is running from an unknown terror in the woods. The camera is shaky, the picture gritty, and eventually she stops to hide behind a tree. Checking her phone and finding she finally has a signal, she tries to make a call, but, alas, no answer. Something happens that indicates, without a doubt, that her attacker knows where she is, and suddenly we have a masked, costumed evil taking her very last breath. Yes, you have seen it before, and now you’ll see it again, in the intro scene of Klischee. Walz does not take long to earn his film’s title.
Now cut to the present day (assuming the early kill has happened in the past). Our protagonist/main character, Dilana (played quite well by Walz regular Sabrina Brencher), gets back to her car after a long day only to find out she left her lights on and her battery is dead. So she walks home (yes, she has a cell phone, one that, in fact, has an evil laugh as its ring tone, but don’t worry about that right now). Along the way, her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend (not sure, sorry) Sancho pulls up in his cool convertible (remember this car!), but she’s not having any of his b.s. and continues on alone. A little bit later, she runs into the same ex- at a restaurant with another girl. Awkward! As we can see, life has been tough lately for Dilana, and so when her friend Milli suggests a vacation to a cozy little villa by the beach, she takes her up on it.
Without beating around the bush, in a very Scream kind of way, people start dying. First, we see where the ex’s new girl, Nadja, gets her throat slit by this familiar white masked, black hooded villain wielding a very large knife (hint: it’s the same guy from the intro). Soon after, this same masked killer ends up at the same cozy villa that our protagonist and her friends are trying to relax at. Wait. A house full of girls, being creeped out by an unknown, masked killer who is trying to get inside the house? Klischee, indeed!
Other klischees…oh, sorry, clichés? Well, we’ve got the convertible on the side of the road, leading us to believe that that shady Sancho is following our poor, innocent Dilana. We’ve got the obligatory “change into bikini, just because” scene. There are jump scares galore, where it turns out that creepy sound was just a friend showing up at an awkward time. There’s the “Do you like scary movies?” type phone calls that the victims get, distorted voice and all, just before they find a knife in their guts. And then, to top it all off, there is the twist ending…nope, no spoilers here, sorry.
All of this brings us to a quandary, a confused question that we have to ask ourselves; why is this movie called Klischee? Is the director making a point? Is he saying, “Hey, here’s what always happens in all of your horror movies?” If so, why? Are we missing an inside joke due to the language barrier (those of us who don’t understand German, I mean)? It’s tough to say, so rather than assume, maybe we should just stick with what we know, and that is exactly what we see unfold on the screen in front of us.
Klischee is shot fairly well, aside from a weird flashbulb-looking effect when our characters get murdered. The acting is fine, the overall feel is good, but I think where we find ourselves wanting more is in the effects department. The very next film Walz put out into the world, La Petite Mort, was an especially grisly and gory horror film, and a lot of that is thanks to the special effects of Olaf Ittenbach (you should remember that name as the director of Dard Divorce and the make-up/effects genius of a bunch of the German splatter horror films I’ve reviewed here). Unfortunately, where that one excelled, Klischee lacks. The killings, while supposed to be looking rough and nasty, are pretty basic and simple, a little too-thick blood, some barely believable looking stab wounds.
So, why should you watch this movie? Like a wise man once said, it’s all been said before, but we had to say it again. The film looks good, the acting is good enough, and the twist in the end makes you feel okay about spending part of your night with Marcel Walz and his cast and crew. No, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, but there’s nothing here that is offensive to the horror aficionado, either. If you liked Scream, or you’re a fan of twists in your horror (even if they are somewhat telegraphed about halfway through), make it your mission to find and watch Klischee.