I’ve been sitting on this entry for many weeks now, at a loss for how to talk about this film. Watching it can put you in remarkably uncomfortable place. Angst is thoroughly unpleasant. Completely devoid of entertainment value and a protagonist, Angst is more like a study of psychopathy with a Director of Photography that opted to completely reinvent the way you shoot a film. The camera work is legendary, including a crane shot early in the film that begins high over the rooftops of a prison, then floats seamlessly down to the street where it meets The Psychopath as he exits the prison gates.
It also makes liberal use of an early, ad hoc version of a SnorriCam, a camera device rigged to the body of the actor, usually facing the actor, to create the appearance of them remaining stationary while everything around them moves. A full 13+ years before the actual SnorriCam was officially invented, they take the concept one step further and use a custom rig that allows the camera to capture its subject in 360º. Instead of the camera being anchored to the environment, it’s anchored to The Psychopath, and in turn, the viewer. The effect is disconcerting and dizzying, and incredibly effective.
Angst is often spoken about in the same sentence as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and I can understand why. Both are incredibly bleak studies on a disturbed and violent mind whose motivation seems to be driven purely by the desire to murder. Both also feel very, very real at times, and are incredibly punishing and difficult to get through.
“Recommend” isn’t a word I would use with a film like this, but if you’re looking for a unique experience in Horror, are interested in seeing a different approach that is completely unflinching, undecorated, spare, and undeniably groundbreaking, or maybe you just want your day ruined while also being wildly inspired, this may be the film for you!