Home invasion? Religious critique? Deranged fable? Unnecessarily abstract pretentious rubbish? Dutch Psychological horror delivers far more questions than answers.
There is no doubting that Borgman is a clever and unpredictable film that will keep you not so much guessing but staring blankly at the screen dumbfounded. The closest genre you could pin on Borgman would be horror sub genre ‘home invasion’ but it never really fits neatly into any category and the theme’s, motifs, subtext and metaphors are also difficult to identify and pin down.
There is always a danger to read too much into films like Borgman and to assume that every weird scene and bit of dialogue has some kind of mystical value attached to it when in reality it could just be a lack of actual ideas.
On the plus side the acting is mostly really strong particularly from the two leads Jan Bijvoet as Camiel and Hadewych Minis as the unraveling Marina and Borgman also looks really good with strong, evocative colours and some really memorable single shots (a particularly beautiful/grotesque underwater scene stands out)…
On the down side though the lack of warmth and any sort of comedy, whilst probably intentional, makes for a disengaging viewing experience and the absence of a score coupled with a stop start storyline that is almost nonlinear makes Borgman more of a struggle than its worth.
A frustrating and frankly odd film.