Monday, October 18, 2021

October Horror Movie Challenge: Sennentuntschi (2010)

Sennentuntschi (2010)

This one has been on my list for a while and I could never find it, and then suddenly it was on all my streaming channels!  It's a Samhain miracle!

Sennentuntschi (2010)

Based on the Alpine legends of the same name.  Is she a demon? A witch or just an abused woman?

An aside.  The mushrooms the little girl is supposed to be picking in the first scene are King Mushrooms and they are wonderful.  Not sure what the red-capped ones are.  Anyway, she finds more, which leads to a shallow grave with the body of boy who likely died over 40 years ago.

Flashback to 1975.  

Ok.  The movie is in German and my German, as mentioned before, is not what it once was.  Yes, there are captions, but often I am writing the review while watching.  Or in this case also working the Monstrous Monday version.  Where am I going with this?  I missed parts and had to go back rewatch it.

So back in 1975 in the nearby village, we find a priest has killed himself and the other priests claim that it was the Devil ("dämon" and not "teufel").  After burying the priest and "wild woman" (Roxane Mesquida) is found.  The local police take her to the police station where she is examined by the local doctor.  She doesn't speak at all and she is covered in dirt and leaves. 

Soon the villages start to suspect the woman has had something to do with the priest's death. Claiming her arrival is not a coincidence.  The woman drops a carved goat that local bar owner Theres recognizes as the the work as her brother, Albert.  She asks Reusch, the policeman to go up the mountain to check on Albert and Erwin.   Reusch finds no one and assumes they went hunting.  As he leaves we see a bloody hand reach up to the window.

Everyone is convinced the woman is some sort of witch or demon.  Especially the local priest, the head of the same church the younger priest killed himself in.  The officer, Reusch gets the woman cleaned up and takes some Polaroids of her to send out to find out who she is.    He tries to find out if she can write, but all she can do is draw some sort of glyph. 

In what we later learn is even earlier in time, we see a man, Martin, head up to the mountains where he meets Erwin and Albert.  He is getting out of city he claims and spends time with Albert and Erwin.   Erwin shows Martin his stash of Absinthe and they begin to drink. 

Back at Reusch's place, the woman, make Reusch some coffee, showing she at least remembers how to do that.  They go to the city records and Reusch finds another woman that went missing in 1950 that looks exactly like the woman.  He heads to the valley to find out more.  He encounters a man who was a policeman in the area and he has pictures of the woman from 1950 in relation to a fire that killed three men.  

While Reusch is gone he lives the woman with his friend.  But while there the priest attempts to kill her.  In the confusion, she runs off.  She finds Theres but is frightened of the cross she makes in the bread.  Later we see that Theres loses the baby she was carrying because of the attack.  We see the woman running up the mountain. 

Back on the mountain, the men are getting really drunk.  Erwin asks Albert to make a "Sennentunschi" for Martin, but he seems afraid to do so.  While Albert is making the Sennentunschi Erwin retells the tale of how the first Sennentunschi was made.  They hallucinate from the absinthe and soon their straw and rag Sennentunschi looks just like the woman from the village. They wake up in the morning from their drinking and find the woman in hiding in the cabin.  The men decide to take her back down to the village, but Irwin has other ideas.  Starting with showing her how to make coffee and ending with raping her in the kitchen.

Martin suspects something is going on and he tries to take her back to the village himself, but she won't go. She runs off and Martin chases her, captures her and it is his turn to assault her.   Martin and the Woman return. More drinking and we learn that both Irwin and Martin have a past of assaulting and later in Martin's case, killing, women.  

That night both Martin and Irwin rape her some more.  When they pass out we see her going down the mountain.

Through a series of events, we learn the woman's mother, the woman from the 1950s, was staying at the church where the older priest had kept her and impregnated her. She gave birth to girl.  He kept the girl in captivity for 25 years treating her like a demon.  The younger priest didn't commit suicide but was killed while trying to prevent the girl from escaping and the older priest made it look like a suicide.  This would also explain why she was afraid of crosses. 

Reusch finds her on the mountain and discovers that when she escaped she came here first and then killed Erwin, Albert, and Martin, but that was days ago.  She took their bodies and stuffed them like in the tale.  She runs off but falls down the side of the mountain. Reusch kills himself. 

The movie is dark and has a few generally horrific moments.  I have to give credit to actress Roxane Mesquida who has to go through the movie as a mute and several different stages of undress. It would be interesting to see her with some speaking lines.

2021 October Horror Movie Challenge

October 2021
Viewed: 33
First Time Views: 20


jmettraux said...

It's actually Swiss German, not High German. Since it's set in the Graubünden, there might be influences of the Rumantsch language, hence "Daemon" instead of "Teufel".

Dick McGee said...

FWIW, Mesquida has an IMDb page with a fair number of film and tv credits to here name, so finding one where she has a speaking role shouldn't be unduly difficult.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Yes, there is quite a few including some more horror ones.

Timothy S. Brannan said...


Yeah. I learned hoch Deutch in high school and college. Anytime I would venture into regional versions it was almost always Bavarian or sometimes Süddeutsch.

JB said...

That's actually quite a clever (and horrific) plot for a horror story. I kind of love it.