German visual artist Akiz's The Nightmare (Der Nachtmahr) is a psychological horror film in the guise of a techno party (Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire composed the score). Opening inter-titles warn of extreme strobing, isochronic tones, and binaural frequencies before concluding, "Anyway...this film should be played loudly." All the better to lose yourself in the jackhammer beats blasting from clubs and cars as 17-year-old Tina (Caroline Genzkow, very good) turns to face the strange.
It starts when a party pal makes a video in which she appears to morph into a freaky fetus from a science lab. Soon, Tina is hearing odd sounds and imagining disturbing scenarios. Then, the Tinabeast from the video materializes as a house guest that only she can see. Her parents call in a home security team, but they don't find anything. Her therapist recommends she talk to it, and she does, but it won't leave her alone. While her friends, who don't believe her, continue to raise a ruckus, Tina withdraws. As the tiny monster becomes more visible, though, it also becomes more sympathetic. Whether it's real or imaginary, it understands her better than the shallow friends and clueless relatives who fail to recognize and respect her loneliness. Kim Gordon, who sings the closing track, shows up as a lit teacher with an affinity for William Blake.
This film is showing tonight at Grand Illusion.