Hagazussa, the newest addition to the Bloody Disgusting film library and second title with Doppelgänger Releasing (the genre label of arthouse distributor Music Box Films), is now streaming on Amazon Prime and has also joined both Shudder and Music Box Direct!
The awesome German gothic horror film, which had its world premiere at the 2017 Fantastic Fest, is the feature film debut for director Lukas Feigelfeld. Hagazussa takes place in the Austrian Alps in the 15th century when people lived in fear of witches and ancient magic.
Hagazussa is Germany’s answer to The Witch that has stunning atmosphere mixed with brooding terror from start to finish. Fans of slow-burn horror are going to want to settle in next to a crackling fire and let the story wash over them.
In the 15th Century in the remote Austrian Alps, the orphan Albrun (Celina Peter) grows up to be a simple goatherd living in solitude…and a marked woman. As a scapegoat of ancient myths and monstrous misogyny, Albrun (portrayed by Aleksandra Cwen as an adult) finds herself tormented by the local townsfolk, driving her to unleash the inner darkness that swells within her. A self-styled witch, Albrun soon exercises her other-worldly birthright and conjures a plague that makes the surrounding human cruelty look pathetic and small by comparison.
Here’s the official trailer.
“After researching old pagan beliefs and folklore about witches that were supposed to roam the mountain woods in those times, my interest was to develop a character that these folk tales would have branded as a witch,” says Feigelfeld on his exploration of the intersection between ancient magic, faith and madness. “[I also wanted] to dig deeper into her psyche and see her as the traumatized, mistreated and finally delusional person that society constructed.”
The film was awarded Best Picture in the “Next Wave” Features category at Fantastic Fest 2017 and has toured the international festival circuit, including BFI London Film Festival 2017, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2017, Music Box Theatre’s Cinepocalypse 2017, and Morbido Fest 2017, to name a few.
Fans of truly independent cinema are going to gush over this hidden gem.
Here are a handful of reviews:
The Noel Murray at the Los Angeles Times writes that it “unsettles at it beguiles,” adding that it’s “a conventionally chilling tale of the paranormal.”
Stephen Dalton at The Hollywood Reporter calls the film “a spooky, stylish, spellbinding debut.” He adds: “Hagazussa works very well as a spellbinding audiovisual symphony.“
Cineurpoa writer Marko Stojiljković declares Hagazussa a “psychologically tense, visually-arresting and mind-blowingly creepy folk horror film.“
Megan Casady of Nightmarish Conjurings calls it “a moody, atmospheric masterpiece” that’s “reminiscent of The Witch.”
Matt Donato, who also writes for Bloody (full disclosure), tweeted out: “Cinematography is so folktale-gorgeous, fully realizing the maddening effects of isolation (much like THE WIND/THE WITCH). Deeply, destructively disturbing.” His accompanying piece on Atomic Tickets offers three reasons to see it in theaters.
Variety also reviewed the film, writing: “…it’s mix of the poetical, repugnant, and phantasmagorical will weave a singular spell for more adventuresome, arthouse-friendly viewers.”
HAGAZUSSA – Theater locations and dates: *Please check Doppelganger Releasing website for additional dates & info
Los Angeles (Monica Film Center): April 19 New York (Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn): April 19 Chicago (Music Box Theater): April 19 San Francisco (Alamo Drafthouse New Mission) April 19 Seattle (Grand Illusion Cinema): April 19 Phoenix (Filmbar) Houston (Alamo Drafthouse La Centerra): April 24 Washington D.C. (Alamo Drafthouse Winchester): April 26 Portland (Hollywood Theater): April 30