YouTube Pranksters Court Death In German Found-Footage Horror ‘Heilstatten’

You’ll root for the demons in this German ‘Blair Witch Project’.

Heilstatten (NC16)

Starring Nilam Farooq, Farina Flebbe, Sonja Gerhardt

Directed by Michael David Pate

Oh, lovely. Just what the world needs right now: another Blair Witch Project redux.

This found-footage shriek-fest from Germany sees a group of idiotic and annoying YouTube pranksters and daredevils livestreaming their overnight stay at the titular abandoned hospital in Beelitz, Brandenburg, where a WWI veteran by the name of Adolf Hitler was once admitted to, and unspeakable atrocities were committed later during WWII. 

As night falls, the viral hit-makers get picked off one by one by a vengeful spirit. You know what happens next: lots of running, screaming, quarreling and ranting in the dark. All that, and the close-up nostril shots. 

The movie, said to be filmed at the actual Heilstatten, is eerie alright, but isn’t terribly scary. Part of the problem lies with the characters: they aren’t likeable. As such, you don’t feel really sorry for them: A-holes who make light of the Nazis’ crimes against humanity are pallbearers at their own funerals. 

Most of the time, you’re rooting for the demons. There’s another problem: if you’ve seen the similarly-structured Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum back in April, nothing here shocks. Well, maybe for that twist third act which would’ve more impact in a proper horror movie. (*1/2)   

Photo: Shaw Organisation

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