Reviewed by: Adele Hartley

Anatomie is something of an anomaly. There's a whole morgue full of corpses, sharp implements, slightly unstable people and a Nazi medical cult lurking in the basement. None of this explains why it comes across as such a lazy, unimaginative stab at a horror film.

Given that beautiful-people-die-by-the-numbers stalk 'n' slash movies are hardly an original idea, there are enough superior models around that Anatomie might have had the decency to copy a few of their better ideas. Anna Loos carries the movie as the dynamic and lascivious Gretchen, but for crimes involving good acting, she is destined to die only to be (ahem) stuffed and mounted in the Medical School hall of horrors.

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As stalk 'n' slash has such strict conventions by which to abide, Anatomie is arrogant enough to believe that it can hold out for more than an hour before Franka Potente's Daphne starts uncovering clues left by Sebastian's Blomberg's evil fairground owner. Then it's a mad, messy dash to tie up most of the loose ends and it's all over. At least until the sequel.

Anatomie seems over-protective in its desire to spare the viewer anything truly disgusting or unsettling and instead walks confidently down the dotted white line right in the middle of the road setting the scares up so far in advance that you can nip off to make a cup of tea and still make it back in time for the pay-off. Horror fans are likely to spend the 103 minutes expecting it to get good any moment now, and are unfortunately destined for disappointment. The film succeeds on an entirely different level, however, as a tourist guide to Heidelberg and never makes the city look less than absolutely stunning.

Given the hype surrounding the movie, you might be forgiven for thinking that somehow it is original, groundbreaking or otherwise special in some way, but apart from the occasional laugh and some enlivening performances, everything else about it, from the shots to the pacing, is decidedly average.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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An anatomy student encounters creepy goings on at med school.
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Keith Hennessey Brown *1/2

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Writer: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Starring: Franka Potente, Anna Loos, Sebastian Blomberg

Year: 2000

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Germany


EIFF 2000

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