What Kim Gordon is doing in an arty, Berlin-set German genre movie is anybody’s guess, but the strangeness of her extended cameo as an empathetic high-school English teacher at least interrupts the surrounding monotony... On a formal level, the only thing that really distinguishes Der Nachtmahr is the thermonuclear sound design, which blows up every time the characters enter an underground night club.
As AKIZ, he is clearly aiming for the Xavier Dolan multi-hyphenate prize: his credits on this film include writer, director, producer, editor, composer, creature creator and model maker. And while the visual and visceral impact of the film is not in question, the sloppy plotting and underpowered characters suggest that, as far as the writing goes, he may be spreading himself a little too thinly.
Made on a micro-budget, Akiz’s Der Nachtmahr joins Victoria among current films that capture Berlin’s energy. It’s a club-scene film with dream logic and rare psychological depth.