Reviews - Strangled
Reviewed By Carol Rennie
For genre fans, this is a beautifully filmed and excellently-crafted stalk and slash drama (I will confess to being one of those who screamed out loud!) – but it made for uneasy viewing for those of us who wonder about the widespread compulsive interest in serial killers, and worry about the exploitativeness of the vicarious thrill of the spectacle: the sensuous lingering on the bodies of the naked, often nameless victims. To be fair to director Arpad Sopsits, he does
not attempt to glorify or elevate the murderer: when the psychological profile points to a likely case of “sexual inferiority”, the chief investigator maintains: “That’s true of most people” – there is no suggestion of any complex mind behind his aberration.
Sopsits successfully recreates a chauvinistic public sphere in which all the decision-makers are men, workplace sexual harassment is a given, and there is zero sensitivity to those victims who were attacked but escaped murder: they are crowded around and slapped awake in their hospital beds, to assist the detectives in their urgent search for the murderer.
The film focuses on the investigators rather than the perpetrator or the victims of the crimes, and, perhaps rightly, leaves the viewer feeling hollow and appalled, both that such terrible crimes happen, and also that effective investigation and justice can be so easily derailed by egos and considerations of image: personal, professional, or state: "there are no serial killers in Hungary."
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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