Film Review: ‘Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse’

Variety - 04-18

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Aleksandra Cwen, Celina Peter, Claudia Martini, Tanja Petrovsky, Gerdi Marlen Simon, Haymon Maria Buttinger, Franz Stadler, Thomas Petruo. If “The Witch” had been directed by the early-career Werner Herzog of “Aguirre,” “Heart of Glass,” and “Even Dwarfs Started Small,” the result might have been something in the spirit of “Hagazussa,” Lukas Feigelfeld’s wholly arresting feature debut. Given the extended U.S. title “A Heathen’s Curse” to underline saleable supernatural elements, this enigmatic folktale-cum-horror is likely to flummox or even exasperate mainstream genre fans with its sparse plotting, slow pace, and near-impenetrable mysteries. But its mix of the poetical, repugnant, and phantasmagorical will weave a singular spell for more adventuresome, arthouse-friendly viewers.