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(Review originally written at 19 September 2005)

This movie has an extremely realistic feeling and provides a view on a child-murderer and the effect it has on the normal everyday society of Germany in 1930. It's one of the most chilling movies I have ever seen along with movies like "Psycho" and "Se7en".

The storytelling in this movie is extremely good. It's slow but it perfectly captures the fear and desperate feelings. Because everything in the movie feels so realistic, it gets a chilling atmosphere. This is also thanks to the at times phenomenal camera-work, directing and the child-murderer part that's played by Peter Lorre. In my opinion his character is just as chilling and classic as Hannibal Lecter.

Director Fritz Lang already proved his talent with "Metropolis" in 1927. This is his first movie that also uses sound but he still manages to put in, just as many visual style and groundbreaking moments in this movie, as he did in his early silent movie works. This is one of the very first film-noir's ever created and this movie helped to set the standards for later movies in the same genre. Truly a milestone in movie history.

The directing is really top-class and so is the cinematography from Fritz Arno Wagner who is also known for working on the classic German expressionist horror masterpiece "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens". The combination of both provide some highly original and memorable scene's.

The acting is silly over-the-top at times as often was still the case in German movies from the '30's. It's also obvious that German isn't Peter Lorre's native language. His German is just a bit off at times.

A classic powerful, chilling, atmospheric, stylish masterpiece that I can whole heartedly recommend to everyone.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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