The Horror Zine
Die Farbe Still 1
The Horror Zine Review

Die Farbe

A Film by Huan Vu

Director: Huan Vu
Actors: Michael Kausch, Marco Leibnitz, Ingo Heise
Studio: Sphaerentor Filmproduktionen,Vu&RothGbR

Format: HD (720p)
Language: German, some English
Release Date: PAL 12/2010; USA June 2011
Run Time: 85 minutes
ASIN: n/a at this time

Die Farbe cover

Die Farbe Film Still 2

Die Farbe

A Film by Huan Vu

Review by Jeani Rector

If I had one word with which to describe Die Farbe, it would be "effective." No, I would need two words, "very effective." This is a noir film that is deeply atmospheric, moody, and filled with delicious creepiness. It is mesmerizing from the very first. You don't need to wait until half-way through the film to feel involved; with Die Farbe, you are instantly captivated.

Die Farbe opens with an empty whisky bottle on a table. What makes this opening scene so expressive is that there is a fly on the wall behind the bottle which takes off and flies away. There is a lot of symbolism and the attention to detail is astounding. The fly lets you know immediately that things are not rosy.

It then goes directly into a scene by a lake where a man tosses his passport onto the ground and then tosses himself into the water for an apparent suicide. I was not expecting this so it was a WHAT? moment. And this is at the very beginning of the film! Die Farbe jumps (literally) into action from the get-go.

Although technically more of a sci-fi than a horror film, Die Farbe nonetheless has its scary moments. Shots of the small town, now almost deserted, are practically scenes from a haunted house movie. The large insect on the woman's scarf is out-right frightening. In fact, if insects give you the creeps, then this movie will scare you to death. It also contains some grisly close-ups of dead creatures, including birds, frogs, and fish.

And when Thaddäus comes back from the well, it is a scene reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead. Towards the end, in autumn when young Pierske cautiously enters the Gärtener home through the dark doorway, it has the feel of The Exorcist. So yes, there are moments of very effective horror in this film. And the special effects are superb.

Die Farbe delves into a mystery, and an absorbing one, beginning when a meteorite falls to earth on the Gärtener's farm. Although that part sounds like something from a 1950s movie, believe me when I tell you that Die Farbe is no summer "drive-in" movie. Instead, this is an extremely well-made film from Huan Vu that I would gladly pay good money to see in a first-run indoor theater. Many "big-budget" Hollywood films are not this good.

The film stars handsome young Ingo Heise as Jonathan, the son of the possible suicide victim who goes in search of his father. In Germany, he meets Armin Pierske, a dual role (the character is shown both in his aging years and in his youth) played by veteran TV actor Michael Kausch as the older Pierske, and Marco Leibnitz in a magnificent performance as the younger version. All of the acting done in this film is top-rate, emotional and convincing. A truly talented, solid cast throughout.

Of particular interest are the scenes that contain Mrs. Gärtener, played astonishingly well by Marah Schneider. She is one of the greatest actors in the film, yet she does not have much of a film bio. If this is her acting debut, then she should soon be a star. Her scenes are frightening, disturbing and convincing.

It is ironic that this film is black and white, because Die Farbe is German for 'the color,' although there is indeed a color at the very end. Director and screenwriter Huan Vu has made an impressive adaptation from the story The Color Out of Space originally written by H. P. Lovecraft. Although filmed in Germany, the language contains both English and German, and when it goes into German, there are subtitles at the bottom.

But black and white is a perfect choice for this particular film, because it makes the winter scenes stark, the deserted village scenes scary, and the country scenes disconcerting. Seeing an eye staring out at you behind a leaf creates an uneasy feeling until the camera pans back to let you know that this eye merely belongs to a frog. It is this attention to detail that makes this film fascinating. I literally could not look away from it, not even for a moment, because I knew if I glanced away, I would miss something special. There is just so much to this film, and all of it is high quality.

All in all, Die Farbe is an amazingly good film. I won't even add "for an independent film" to the end of that sentence because Hollywood could take lessons from this one. Die Farbe works on all levels: story, direction, acting, scenery, and it delves seamlessly between sci-fi and horror. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the best film I have seen in a long time. It is not merely good...Die Farbe is a great film. If I ever meet director Huan Vu, I would be proud to shake his hand. Huan, you did good. I mean really really good. Die Farbe is a must-see.


See the movie here:

About the Filmmaker

Huan Vu

Haun Vu

Huan Vu was born on January 19th, 1982, in Stuttgart, Germany. His parents came from Vietnam in the 70s as guest students and got permission to stay after the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. In 1995, the family adopted German citizenship.

From 2003 till 2007, Huan Vu worked as producer/writer/director on Damnatus, a feature-length non-profit Warhammer film. Damnatus was a "40,000-fan" film, the first and probably last of its kind, since it was forbidden to be released due to legal issues between British and German copyright laws claimed by Games Workshop, the company owning the Warhammer "40,000" Intellectual Property.
After that, Huan Vu started working on Die Farbe, an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space," which was shot in 2008 and completed in late 2010.

About the Reviewer

Jeani Rector

Jeani Rector

While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead.  She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters.  It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?

Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, Story Mania, All Destiny, and many others. Her book Around a Dark Corner was released in the USA on Graveyard Press in 2009.