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Antibodies Review

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A small-town cop and a notorious serial killer lock horns with unexpected results.

★★★★★

Although it trades heavily on the myth of Hannibal Lecter, Christian Alvart's thriller is most obviously rooted in the Krimis style that has long dominated the German crime scene. However, what sets this bleak psychological two-hander apart is the sinister strain of biblical symbolism that ultimately tips it over into self-conscious melodrama.

The duel between supercilious serial killer Andre Hennicke and part-time farmer-cop Wotan Wilke Mohring is played to the hilt, as the line between good and evil becomes increasingly blurred as Hennicke taunts his inquisitor about an unsolved murder on his patch. But Mohring's capitulation to religious delusion undermines the credibility of an already spurious story, even though Alvart handles its twists with a knowing cynicism that leaves a disconcerting sense of hopelessness that transcends the Grand Guignol theatricality.

A tangible sense of evil lingers over this German serial killer shocker, but the introduction of religious symbolism tips the action into self-conscious melodrama.