Claustrofobia (2011)

When a young student rents a new apartment she can’t imagine the horrors one of her neighbours might have planned for her in Claustrofobia.

Films that open in what appears to be an abandoned morgue, with two young kids daring each other to get inside the fridges once used for dead bodies, pretty much set the tone straight away. Sadly for some, it also means they set the bar too high, too early.

Claustrofobia isn’t a bad story; a childhood trauma leads a seemingly quiet man to exact revenge on various people, including dragging a young, good looking female neighbour into his messed up plans. Unfortunately, it’s a story that’s all too familiar, and while the setting and flow might be different, you can’t help but think you’ve seen this film before.

There’s the obvious set up as Eva (Carolien Spoor) moves into the obvious ‘too good to be true’ apartment. Sure the landlord (Rogier Philipoom) is a bit creepy, but they always are and they’re also always balanced out by the good looking, friendly neighbour (Dragan Bakema), who’s always around to lend a hand or buy the new good looking female neighbour a drink laced with drugs, should she want it or not.

After the brief introduction and setting up of Eva’s character as the carefree, fun, sexual and intelligent young woman she is, we then find her locked to a bed in a dirty basement. Why is she there? What will happen to her? Who has locked her in there and will she ever escape? These questions were gripping when films like Saw were first released but now they’re getting a little tiresome.

While the plot is clearly predictable, it’s a film that’s good to watch and the back story is strong. There’s also enough good gore and action to keep you occupied as Eva tries to escape and the Detective (Thijs Römer) looking for her gets too close. But this isn’t an entirely original story and you don’t have to be a genius to notice plot lines borrowed from films like Saw and The Human Centipede.

Maybe this thriller/horror storyline has had its day.


Best use of irony: Not-what-he-seems-to-be voyeur watching everything from his apartment window.

[box_help]DVD Extras: None[/box_help]

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