Home Drama Extremely disturbing end-time thriller from master director as a limited edition mediabook: “Raw panic and despair”

Extremely disturbing end-time thriller from master director as a limited edition mediabook: “Raw panic and despair”

by Han

In Wolfzeit, we accompany a family through a world that is so similar to ours and yet nothing is as it used to be. The limited edition mediabook is now available for home cinema

As in The Piano Player, Michael Haneke’s apocalyptic drama Wolfzeit stars Isabelle Huppert, the goddess of acting. The Austrian director also disturbs his viewers in Wolfzeit.

The 2003 film has recently been released as a limited Mediabook edition. Bonus material includes the making-of, a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and an essay by film scholar Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger.

This is what Haneke’s drama Wolfzeit is about

Anne and her family are fleeing a catastrophe in the big city and the collapse of civilization. Their vacation home is secluded in the woods, so it’s actually the perfect place to escape the chaos, if it weren’t for the strange family that has already taken up residence in the house. A confrontation ensues and from then on a nightmare begins in which nothing is as it once was. The family story becomes a road movie through a destroyed country and, with all the oppressive suffering, also a horror film.

Disturbing apocalypse without sci-fi

Michael Haneke knows how to disturb his audience. The beginning in particular is reminiscent of his FSK-18 thriller Funny Games with Ulrich Mühe. Its limited Blu-ray edition with Mediabook is still available at Mediamarkt. Here too, absolute horror awaits a family in their vacation home. What makes Haneke’s films so disturbing is their realistic portrayal, which manages without any or only very subtle music. The characters do not act mindlessly, do not make rash decisions and yet are unable to find a way out.



Although we also have an apocalyptic scenario in Wolfzeit, no science fiction elements are used, which makes the material even more tangible for the audience.

The world is similar to ours and, as so often with Haneke, the characters once again show their inhumanity to their own species. Scott Foundas writes in his review on Variety :

[…] Haneke demonstrates deep insight into the essence of human behavior when all humility is abandoned, pure panic and despair are the order of the day, and man becomes more wolf than man.

When Haneke wrote the screenplay for Wolfzeit, it was actually still a science fiction film, as he first had to invent a scenario to describe a major threat to our affluent society, as he revealed in an interview with Austrian Films. It was only after the fatal terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 that the Western world became aware of how quickly a catastrophe could happen here too. Haneke rewrote the script and brought the plot into the present day.

Wolfzeit – Limited Blu-ray-Edition as Mediabook at Amazon

It was important to him not to make a disaster film, but one that even the spoiled people of our highly industrialized world could identify with. The viewer should feel that this scenario from Wolfzeit could happen to them at any time

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