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With shades of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and SE7EN, the German-made ANTIBODIES is a taut riveting thriller that ultimately becomes its own unique entity.
Starting out with a shocking opening sequence, we are introduced to Gabriel Engel (André Hennicke), a depraved and sadistic serial killer who has been terrorizing the area for years kidnapping and killing young boys for sexual pleasure. His crimes are beyond monstrous and the details are not for the weak stomached.
Fortunately, Engel is arrested and locked away where he can no longer harm anyone. But he is far from done inflicting pain.
Convinced that Engel had murdered a young girl in his town (even though it’s not the killer’s M.O.), rural lawman Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring) travels to the city to meet with him eye to eye to get a definitive confession. But, like Hannibal Lecter, Engel enjoys a certain quid pro quo when it comes to divulging information.
Becoming obsessed with knowing the answers, Michael lets Engel inside his head which leads him down a dark path that could threaten to unravel his entire life.
What makes ANTIBODIES truly stand out for me is how dark and nihilistic the story is. It wallows in shades of grey with no clear-cut hero to latch onto. Michael is damaged goods. Not only is he unlikeable at times, but also he does things that question his integrity as an officer of the law and as a husband and father.
I was captivated by the film, which ratchets up the tension nicely and slowly builds and builds to a heart stopping conclusion with many twists and turns along the way. If you like these type of thrillers than I highly recommend ANTIBODIES. Just be wary that like the NBC series HANNIBAL, it is very dark and morally ambiguous. It gets under your skin and never quite leaves.