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Monday, March 2, 2015

Borgman

This chilling cinematic nightmare from writer/director Alex van Warmerdam (The Last Days of Emma Blank) tells the story of an odd little vagrant named Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet) who worms his way into the house, and the lives, of a snobby upper crust suburban Dutch family.  Although he is definitely strange, and strangely charismatic, Borgman seems harmless enough until his friends start showing up at the house and things start going incredibly badly for the family. The story of a stranger biting the hand of the family that feeds him has been told many times before, but almost none of those other films are quite as terrifying as this one is primarily because of Bijvoet. His performance is so cold and calculating, so bereft of human emotion, that you feel both attracted and repelled by what he does, and it’s impossible not to watch him do it. The rest of the cast is good, although none are given as much to do as Bijvoet – they are there to support him as he creates one of the finest villains caught on film in years.

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