Welcome back to Flixdown.Today I will show you a drama, horror, mystery film from 2017, titled Berlin Syndrome. Spoilers ahead! Watch out and take care.
Clare is an Australian woman who arrives in Berlin hoping to find some life experience there that she couldn't find back home. She's self-aware enough to understand how clichéd that is but has still decided to take the leap and explore her passion on another continent. As soon as Clare arrives, she tries to make friends with the people she sees there, showing her loneliness and vulnerability. She spends her first night in Berlin on a rooftop with a group of strangers, and as the morning comes, Clare takes photos of the city in the golden hour of dawn. The next day, Clare walks around the city, buys a few trinkets at a flea market, and continues to take pictures. She takes a rest in a bookshop, flipping through a monograph about Gustav Klimt, and when she leaves, Clare bumps into Andi. They have a nice moment together. He chats her up, and she sees right through him, but they end up spending pretty much the entire day together. Clare tells him that the reason she's there is that she wants to photograph GDR architecture and make a book out of that, but Andi doesn't understand her obsession with it. He tells her that he's an English teacher at a sports college. He dives her back at the hostel that night, and she tells him that she will be going to Dresden the next day and before she exits the car, they almost kiss, but he stops and tells her goodbye.
The following day, Clare seems reluctant to go to Dresden as she planned, and she looks for the bookshop where she first saw him. To little surprise, Andi is at the bookshop, where she finds him flipping through a Klimt monograph and begins talking to him. They're having a beer at a local bar and talking about her photography in the following sequence. He's the next generation Berliner who doesn't seem too keen on the politics of East Germany, and she can't tell that he might have some history connected to those times that have made him that way. They talk about that until he finds a necklace with a wedding band on it. The ring was given to Clare by her mom, who told her that if she gets into trouble, she could always sell it and come home. Later, the two of them are in his car because Andi's taking Clare to his apartment in an abandoned building. The place is falling apart, and she immediately notices how quiet it is since no one lives there anymore. They walk inside of his apartment, and she takes a look at it, seeing that the doors don't open. Andi walks up to Clare as she's staring out of the window. They begin to kiss and undress each other, then go to his bedroom and sleep together. Afterwards, Andi tells her that he wishes they would stay like that forever, where they still don't know each other. Clare says she wishes they stay there forever as well.
The next day, Andi can be seen at his job, holding a lecture for high school children. He's asking the students about the required reading they had over the weekend and told Franka to answer. She's read the book, so she explains the question in detail, regardless of her broken English. Meanwhile, Clare wakes up in the apartment and dresses, but when she leaves, she notices that the doors are locked, and she can't find a key anywhere. During her look around the apartment, she finds a locked room and some red nail polish in the bathroom, as well as a school photo of Andi.
Clare is annoyed at being stuck in the apartment all day, unaware that this is just the beginning of her trouble. Andi leaves work and runs into Peter and Jana, who ask him to join them for a drink. He refuses the offer and tells them that he has to meet someone later because Peter insists. When Andi comes back home, he finds Clare making tea and telling him that she couldn't find the key to the place. She asks him if he even left one out for her, and Andi pretends that he just forgot to leave it on the table. They go out to a club that night, and Clare still thinks he's a nice guy. They sleep together, and the following day he leaves a key for her on the dresser. Clare gets up when he goes to the apartment and grabs breakfast when she notices another Klimt book in his kitchen.
Inside the book, she finds a woman's photograph with the words "mine" inscribed on her back. Naturally, that freaks Clare out, so she checks her own back for the same inscription and finds one there too. She immediately tries the key that Andi had left for her to find out that it doesn't work. The windows don't open either, and her only other solution is to grab her cell and charge it to call for help. Unfortunately, just as she powers the phone, she sees Andi has taken out her sim card. Suddenly, Clare realizes that she's not a guest in his apartment but possibly a prisoner. She grabs one of the chairs and tries to break open one of the windows, but soon realizes that he thought of that eventuality as well, so the glass is fortified.
Clare waits for Andi at the door but doesn't manage to get out as he comes back in, making it seem like she doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't respond to her plea to open the door and only begins talking when he sees the mess from the window. Clare tries to confront him calmly, but he tells her that he'll have to board them up if she tries to break the windows again. Andi starts making dinner like everything is normal while she tries to reason with him. He tells her that she's the one that wanted to stay instead of going to Dresden, but Clare says that it was just something she said after they slept together and that it doesn't mean anything.
After a bit, Clare loses it and tries to fight him to open the door, but the psycho manages to overtake her and tell her that no one can hear her. Andi goes on with his life the next days like nothing has happened and visits his father at one of his lectures. Being bored at the lecture makes him want to look at pictures that he's taken from Clare when his father calls him out on his opinion about East Germany. The two have dinner together and argue about little things when Andi tells him that he has met someone. His dad asks about what happened to the other one, and when Andi tells him that she went back to Canada and the new one is Australian, the dad wonders why he always picks tourist girls.
Meanwhile, it can be seen that he has been restraining her on the bed wrapped in plastic, with just a towel under her. One night when he comes back to the apartment after a run, he's seen putting his keys in a locker containing all of her important documents and stuff. Andi releases Clare from the restraints and shows her what he has bought for her. He also says that he told his father about them and that he texted her mom to let her know she's okay. As Clare stands up, with piss all over her, she says that she's not good and that her mom will work out where she is because she's paid for drinks with her card. While taking a shower, she discovers blond hair in the drain, suggesting she wasn't the first one to stay there.
Later, Andi is restraining her back to the bed, taking photos of her, when she asks him not to tie her again because she can't go anywhere anyway. Before leaving for work, he puts the keys away in the locker and places the safe over the front door. Clare immediately starts looking through the apartment for a weapon or anything similar that she might use until she finds a screwdriver under the sofa. Meanwhile, Andi is at work, talking to Peter and Jana, when he notices that she has his mug. She apologizes and washes it up for him, then touches his hand as she gives it back, making him act all weird about it. Andi washes his arm from her touch. When he comes back to the apartment, Clare is putting the puzzle he bought for her together. She makes him sit down and help her with it when she sees the keys in his hand. Andi puts one of his hands down to place a piece on the board. Clare nails him to the table with the screwdriver. She steals the keys and manages to escape the apartment. Andi takes out the screwdriver and runs after her down the stairs, catching up to her when she gets to the door.
As Clare struggles to get out, Andi slams the door in her hand and breaks her fingers. Clare passes out from the pain, and he takes her back, leaving her on the floor as he takes care of his wound. Sometime later, Andi goes to see his dad, and he says that his mother called to ask about him. This is when we learn that Andi has mommy issues because she deflected and left the two of them behind. One night, Clare tells him that she misses her mom, and he says that there is no point in missing something she can't have back, especially since she has him. Andi takes more photos of her and brings them into the locked room, where Clare can hear strange noises coming out. Later, while he's at work, Clare will try to pick the room's lock, only to have the paper clip break inside, which he will surely notice. Simultaneously, Andi is at work, holding a gym class, when he sees one of the students, Franka, exercising. He has a creepy moment looking at her, and the girl notices he's watching her too.
One night, while he's closing the locker after taking out the scissors from it, the passage of time can be seen on his wounded hand. It has already been a long time since Clare was imprisoned there. Andi uses the scissors to cut Clare's nails and takes the bandage off her wounded hand. He tells her that he would never hurt her in the worst way she can imagine because they are a team. Moments later, he's washing her in the shower as Franka arrives at the apartment complex and can come in because the coalman has opened the door.
When she knocks on the door, Andi grabs Clare's mouth and tells her that he'll kill Franka if she screams. He comes out to talk to the girl who has a crush on her, Clare appears behind him. Andi tells Franka that Clare is his girlfriend and belittles her for feeling any interest in him. He sends the confused girl, who noticed him looking at her, away and tells Clare her name. He turns her around and cuts her hair, too, then retakes a picture of her. When he notices that he can't open the room quickly, Clare gets scared that he might do something. Andi comes back to the apartment on another night and brings Clare a gift of underwear, which she has no choice but to model for him, so after a few moments of pretending, she begins behaving as she'll fight him. The dude is disappointed, so he asks her if she can't just ask normal, to which Clare poignantly replies that he's abnormal. Andi beats her up, and as Clare gets dressed, she finds nail clippings under the bed. Since he got mad at her, Andi goes to sleep at his dad's house. Meanwhile, there is a power shortage at the apartment. Clare gets cold fast because it's already winter, and snow has begun to fall.
The following day, Andi tries to wake his dad when he realizes that he has died. He cleans up his house and looks for some toenail clippers. When he finds them, he cuts his dad's toenails while Clare is simultaneously painting her nails and trying to stay warm. Since the gas stove is still working, she's able to feed herself while she's imprisoned in the apartment without her jailor. Andi stays at his dad's with his dead body for a few days, fixing him up and his house, leaving Clare alone, to wonder not when she'll be able to escape but when he'll come back. She keeps finding trinkets left over from the others before her.
After Andi finishes and arranges everything at his dad's, he comes back to the apartment. Clare is shocked to see him because she thought he would never come back. He tells her that his father died, and she tries to comfort him. They sleep together. As Christmas and New Year approach, the two of them seem to get along and playhouse. Andi even buys her some books as a present with the inscription that to him she is perfect. That prompts Clare to ask him how he chose her, and he tells her that he saw her pausing on the street looking at something. Then she asks how he chose the other girl before her and when he lies that there was none, she tells him that she knows that's not true. Clare asks if he still thinks about her, and he says that he doesn't. They have a conversation in which she tells him some childhood story, but he seems uninterested. Later, he gives her his dad's dog as a present.
One day, he takes her out for a stroll in the woods, and she isn't trying to escape because he's also carrying an axe with him. After a little while, he gets ready to kill her when a boy suddenly yells after them. He calls over for their help because his brother is hurt, so Andi checks on him. Clare approaches the boy who called them over and starts telling him to get her help because she's in trouble. Unfortunately, the boy doesn't understand English and gets mad at her for grabbing at him. Suddenly, their mom shows up and calls the kids back as Andi grabs the axe again. He makes Clare come back to him and then takes her back to the car, putting her in the trunk. Later, when he sees how much love Clare has for the dog, Andi takes it away from her and lets it go, telling her it escaped.
On New Year's Eve, Andi goes to Peter's and Jana's parties. He freaks out a little when he sees how many people are there. Meanwhile, Clare finally opens the door of the locked room. There, she finds his photo album with all the pictures he took from her. Clare realizes that the weird noises he heard came from a reclining massage chair. Next to it, she finds another photo album with photos from his childhood. At the end of the album, she sees the photos from the girl he had locked in there before her. Suddenly, Clare hears fireworks outside because the New Year has arrived. Andi isn't having much fun at the party, so he goes to wash the dishes in the kitchen, where he has a weird exchange with Jana. He asks her why she throws herself at him, and other men and Jana asks him to leave because she's offended and frightened.
As Andi leaves the party, he sees another tourist girl outside and tries to chat her up. She laughs at him for making a small mistake in the wording of his question, and then her friend calls her over because their taxi has arrived. He drives home looking at other women, probably looking for a new victim. At the same time, Clare notices someone in the apartment opposite the one she's in and manages to draw their attention. The man quickly walks over to the apartment, but as he's trying to open the door, Andi comes back and hits him over the head. When the man is down, he hits him again to kill him. He makes Clare help him clean up and pack up the body in some plastic. Moments later, he takes the body out and stuffs it in a garbage can, pouring gasoline over it and lighting it on fire. Clare sees the fire from the apartment. In the next sequence, Andi is boarding up the windows in the apartment, so she doesn't do something like that again and finishes cleaning up the place. Later, Andi reads the local paper when he sees an article about Clare missing, so he tells her to pack all of her things up because he will be getting the apartment fumigated. Before she packs up, she sees him grading Franka's paper. She burns her hand to divert his attention, and when he goes to the bathroom to get some burn cream, Clare hides the notebook under the sink. Later, he takes the papers he's grading and all her stuff and leaves her there. Then goes to the basement and turns off all the water in the apartment. The next day, he returns the graded notebooks to his students, including Franka. When she opens hers, she finds a photo of Clare that she managed to sneak in the previous night. The girl realizes what that means and asks to go to the bathroom, taking it with her.
Unfortunately, the photo falls from her notebook, and some of the other students find it. When Franka realizes that she dropped the picture, she takes her bike and goes to his apartment. Back in the classroom, the kids pass the photo around, and when it finally gets to Andi, he freaks out and drives back home as fast as possible. Andi arrives at the apartment complex and sees Franka's bike there, as well as an opened window. When he enters the yard, he sees that the girls have found a way to open the box, and he quickly runs upstairs to check if Clare is still there. Andi doesn't find either of them in the apartment, but he follows the sounds, ready to strike when he hears something upstairs. As soon as he enters the apartment on the next floor over, Clare calls him back down. Andi looks for her inside, but she hides from him, waiting for him to go deeper inside the apartment. At one point, while he's in his particular room, she calls out to him so that he can see her locking him inside the apartment. Clare has taken all of her documents from the box and leaves him locked inside. She goes to the other apartment to get Franka, helps her get out of a cupboard where she hid and comforts her for not realizing it sooner.
The film's final image is of Clare driving around Berlin and feeling the wind on her skin. She was probably trapped in that apartment for a year, and now she's finally free.
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