Freddy (Felix Schäfer) finds himself in the most difficult position of his life. After discovering his wife’s infidelity, he is accused of domestic violence against her as well as provoked assault against her new partner. The events take a dramatic toll on the struggling artist, especially when he is granted only limited access to his son.
With the public adamantly shunning him, the distressed Freddy is battling with memory lapses. Certain he has not committed the crimes that he has been accused of, all leads point to his deteriorating mental health and the ubiquitous Eddy who only reveals himself when Freddy is alone. Has Freddy conjured up an alter-ego to justify his uncharacteristic behaviour or is there something much darker afoot?
Freddy/Eddy is the debut feature from renowned German sound assistant Tini Tüllmann. Straight off the bat, she has produced a highly gripping, psychological thriller that’s difficult to shake off once the credits have rolled. Freddy/Eddy is a strong, uncompromising character piece that isn’t afraid to explore dark and disturbing themes. Tüllmann has set the stage for a promising future in filmmaking as she demonstrates that she is skilled within her craft. She knows how to challenge her audience perceptions with her depiction of manic paranoia; keeping the tension high until the twists and turns are unveiled.
Felix Schäfer gives a stellar performance in the dual-titular role; proving his capabilities with the meaty material he gets to work with. Essentially, Freddy/Eddy is a modern slant on the classic Jekyll and Hyde tale meaning that Schäfer is enabled to play both good and evil in the characters that he is portraying.
Equally as strong is Jessica Schwarz as single-parent Paula, Freddy’s new neighbour whom he strikes up a promising friendship with. Greta Bohacek is a revelation as Paula’s teenage daughter Mitzi. As a young performer, she handles the dark material in a dignified and sensitive manner while still getting across the ordeal her character is subjected to purely through her expressive performance.
While the film is categorized as a thriller, it still blurs into horror and is evidence to how broad the genre can be. Tüllmann bravely explores the very tangible subject matter of twinless twin syndrome- where a person experiences deep rooted loss even if the twin died at birth and they never even met them. The whole film signifies a realistic horror edge that leaves a thought-provoking impression.
Horror isn’t just about a man in a mask hacking and slashing hormonal teenage victims, it can play out on a much deeper level. This film is a complex study of the human psyche and opens up the idea of attitudes towards mental health, an increasingly prevalent subject in today’ society. The film also tackles sexual abuse and pulls no punches in its implied scenes. It doesn’t need to go down the exploitative route to convey its disturbing nature but still manages to strike a chord.
Freddy/Eddy is exceptionally bleak in its tone and cinematography however still sustains the beauty of its wintery location with sweeping establishing shots. This allows for a great deal of atmosphere and eeriness. There are times where the film attempts to bring in too many plot angles to the entire narrative body which are quickly dropped down to progress the characterisation of the protagonist/antagonist. Its easily forgivable due to Schäfer’s captivating performance.
Freddy/Eddy is an enthralling domestic horror/thriller featuring a compelling plot, stunning scenery and an audacious subject that delves into a darker place that the average thriller. Without a doubt, Freddy/Eddy is a striking foreign language genre piece and a guaranteed must-see of the year.
The film received its UK premiere at Horror Channel Frightfest in August 2017 following an award-winning streak in its home country. Read director Tini Tüllmann’s Five FrightFest Fact’s HERE