Review:  ‘Autumn Blood’ sheds gratuitous violence

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Set in a lawless town in the Austrian mountains, the English-language “Autumn Blood” seems at first like something along the lines of “The Sound of Music” as re-imagined by Michael Haneke. But whereas Haneke’s films grapple with the blunt force of violence, novice filmmaker Markus Blunder just lets the violence snowball all the way down a slippery slope.

Nameless siblings (Sophie Lowe and Maximilian Harnisch) witness the senseless murder of their father. They lose their mother a few years later. Ostracized by the small foothill community for some unknown reason, the orphans carry on with their routines without telling anyone. Three local thugs (Samuel Vauramo, Gustaf Skarsgard and Tim Morten Uhlenbrock) seize every opportunity to molest and assault the teenage girl, sometimes right in front of her preteen brother.

One might wonder if someone in this situation would commence a self-defense regimen or at the very least reinforce the door locks. So it’s frustrating to watch this character run and hide (poorly) with her dress stripped off for no apparent reason. The gratuitous nudity raises suspicions of whether Blunder is on some level blaming the victim.


“Autumn Blood.”

MPAA rating: R for violence including rape, nudity.

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Playing: At AMC Universal CityWalk Stadium 19. Also on VOD.