Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps

Now here was an interesting movie that I knew nothing about going in to it.  Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps is based on an alpine legend about three lonely herdsmen who were so starved of female companionship they built themselves a female companion from a broom, some straw and a few rags. Then the Devil took pity and made the Sennentuntschi come to life so that she could clean up and look after them. Each of the men ends up having their way with the Sennentuntschi, so in revenge she murders them all, skins them and sews their hides into straw stuffed dolls, tossing their skinless cadavers off the side of the mountain.

So basically, the movie builds a mystery around this myth where a policeman in a small swiss village has to discover the truth behind the appearance of a strange mute girl in the village the same day a local priest hangs himself in the bell tower.  The movie also simultaneously follows the actions of a couple of goat farming, cheese making, absinthe distilling mountain hicks and there volunteer help from the city who come across the same mute girl after a night of drunken hijinks results in them trying to make their own Sennentuntschi.

Is the mute a real life Sennentuntschi, a ghost from the past returning to curse the villagers and all who dwell in the mountainous region, a victim of a cruel village conspiracy?  Well, you’ll have to see the movie to find out.

One word of warning here: you will need to pay attention in this movie.  If you found something like Inception too complicated to follow, maybe skip this one.  If you can’t sit for more than 2 seconds without worrying whether you’re getting a text message or not, don’t bother.  The plot does come together at the end, and everything makes sense if you were paying attention, but there are a lot of twists and turns, and the structure of the movie plays with time to create the mystery in a really cool way. I gotta give major props to the writers of this one.  In fact, if you were to sequence the events differently, there’d really be no mystery at all, but I can assure you, you will NOT be able to “call this one” before the end of the film.

For gore and sleaze fans the movie has some pretty decent helpings of both, considering it’s more of an artfully made thriller than say a horror exploitation; so if you want to see a movie that actually makes you think but still has some of the things you enjoy watching in movies I’d recommend it.  I heartily recommend this one to all mystery movie fans though, if you can handle watching a foreign film with subtitles and the violence and sexual content (all of which are done in service to the plot), I think you’ll come away pleasantly surprised by this one.