Why Watch? If the key to good horror is making you fear something that’s common, and the key to good horror comedy is finding humor within that fear, then this short film from Dominkik Hartl is one of the best examples of the genre. A perfect execution of a well-worn idea giving new life thanks to your grandmother’s knitting.
Vienna Waits For You does for lace doilies what Jaws did for beach vacations.
Yes, that phrase is a standard one, and it give you visions of hyperbole, but this short film really, truly is something special. A standout in genre filmmaking that’s shot beautifully, told with invective mystery and injected with a powerful creativity in its final moments.
Anna (Petra Staduan) has moved to the big city to be with a boyfriend who summarily dumps her, so she finds an apartment that an elderly woman is anxious to get rid of. It’s comfortable, government subsidized, and it sucks the lifeblood from whatever tenant signs on the dotted line.
Fortunately, this movie never goes for the obvious. It pits a young woman against an unstoppable force, and we get to watch as her sanity and skin is tested beyond the usual limits. Plus, it creates heartfelt stakes as the equation of what’s really going on continues to shift, and is genuinely funny at every turn because it treats an absurd situation with due absurdity.
On top of fantastic storytelling, it offers some strong practical effects — both with Anna’s make-up and the transformation of the space. Amazing what they can do with yarn these days.
It’s also a story that asks you what you would do in the same situation, all while providing a metaphor for the basic fear of stagnation and finding yourself older than you planned to be.
What Will It Cost? About 3 minutes.
Sidenote: The English title Vienna Waits For You is evocative, but I like the original title a bit better. Spitzendeckchen simply translates to “Lace.”