Grenzgänger is a 10-minute horror short film from Austria, based on a short story by Christian Kössler. The screenplay was written by Felix Gorbach and Moritz Neumayr, with Gorbach being credited as director and Neumayr as co-director and editor.
One night, in Innsbruck, two people meet and their conversation soon focuses on a recent series of murders in the city.
There is very little wrong with this good-looking film, and yet it did not work for me. This horror short is well-staged, well-lit, and well-shot, with cinematography by Norbert Niederacher and lighting by Robert Mayer. The dialogue is also good, but somewhere in the writing and/or directing there is a problem. For one, the film has a certain stiffness to it that is surprising for a sophomore short film by young filmmakers. The main problem, however, is that the plot relies on a last-minute twist that unfortunately becomes apparent to anyone in the first minute of the film rather than the last.
So the good performances by Anna Mariani and Martin Strele in this two-character piece were in vain, as this story is based on suspense, but it is a suspense that I never felt. And maybe this is where the feeling of stiffness came from? That there was a suspense in the acting, the lighting, the cinematography – a suspense which I saw on screen but which did not manifest itself in may brain because my brain was already eight minutes ahead of the story?
Be that as it may, as a “personal experience” I cannot rate this short higher than 4.5 or 5.0 out of 10.