Borgman

Borgman

DVD - 2014 | Dutch; Flemish
Average Rating:
14
2
1
Rate this:
A dark suburban fable exploring the nature of evil in unexpected places, follows an enigmatic vagrant who enters the lives of an upper-class family and quickly unravels their carefully curated lifestyle. Charming and mysterious, Camiel Borgman seems almost otherworldly, and it isn't long before he has the wife, children and nanny under his spell in a calculated bid to take over their home life.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

j
jimg2000
Aug 02, 2017

Looking for more work from Alex Warmerdam after enjoyed his thriller "Schneider vs. Bax, 2015." This earlier film is an original scary fairy tale for adults who sinned and indulged in worldly pleasure at the expense of others; beware that the boogie man and his crew would come to get ya!

t
TheeAvebury
Feb 03, 2017

If you like films that you just can't stop thinking about after it's over, then Borgman is right up your alley. While there's plenty going on the surface, the real strength of this film is the way it plays with subtext to give a chilling look into human weakness and the nature of evil. With barely a word spoken the opening scene tells you everything you need to know about this film, but still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat all the way until the credits rolled. This film is definitely not for everybody. If subtitles turn you off or you like to have every question answered in no uncertain terms, then I'd have to advise you not to bother with this one. If on the other hand, you like films where a little imagination is required to give meaning to the eerie imagery, you'll find that you have to watch this one at least twice.

n
Nursebob
Feb 03, 2017

“…and they descended upon the Earth to strengthen their ranks.” With this faux Old Testament-style quote writer/director Alex van Warmerdam opens his surreal and darkly comic film, a hodgepodge of sadistic puzzler in the vein of Lars von Trier, bourgeoisie skewering á la Michael Haneke, and devilishly sardonic Catholic nightmare straight from the mind of Luis Buñuel. The upper class is always an easy target for satire and "Borgman" is no exception—when he places an ad for a new gardener yuppy homeowner Richard is appalled by the number of non-white applicants and after youngest daughter Isolde guts a teddy bear her mother Marina lectures her on the poor third-world child who laboured to make it—but Warmerdam’s barbs are edgeless and we’ve heard all these jokes before. As a study in Good vs. Evil however he does manage to make us squirm for he presents a contemporary world devoid of virtue in which darker motives bubble beneath polite facades and wickedness, bearing the mark of the Beast no less, is meted out in the most innocent of packages. Indeed, Borgman only has to blow on the flames that already exist in order to wrack Richard and Marina’s home with all seven of the deadly sins. Finally, a downbeat finale brings forth the true horror of what we’ve been witnessing for the past two hours but even that falls strangely flat. Despite a storyline that at times derails into ad-lib territory and an infuriating smugness (deliberate perhaps?) which seems intent on convincing audiences the film is far more complex than it actually is, there is still an unsettling quality to the production. It’s almost as if the movie were judging you based on your reaction to it and finding therein something shameful. The Netherlands’ official entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar, 2014.

f
funky_d
Jan 15, 2017

Weird and compelling at its start but then, bizarre and confusing. I can appreciate the opinions of others here that enjoyed it but it left too much unanswered.

*SPOILER ALERT*
At IMDB, there are references that Borgman is symbolic of Satan and that the folks he offs represent the seven deadly sins...it that's so, how does one explain why the gardener was taken out?

None of the characters is likeable and there isn't enough social commentary to digest the perplexing and dysfunctional actions of Borgman and his henchwomen/men.

While my rating is lower than reviewer jpozenel, I agree wholeheartedly that "you won't understand why people at the beginning of the movie were persecuting this homeless man but by the end, you wish they'd caught him." Amen!

At its conclusion, I was disappointed I'd not chosen a more satisfying film to watch.

j
jnewday
Nov 02, 2016

Bizarre, inexplicable, horrific. Strange characters emerge from hidden cavities in the woods. They undermine suburban life by external invasion and internal recruitment. They destroy, demolish and bring death. Then they move on.

d
Dadjoe1
Feb 12, 2016

Unrealistic behaviour of characters. If Borgman's gang turned out to be aliens, It would make more sense. But real people reacting irrationally with no logical explanation... So disappointing.

a
ANTHONYZEDAN
Apr 07, 2015

A fascinating exploration into the nature of evil- creepy, masterfully executed and keeps your interest until the very end. Are Borgman and his cohorts human grifters or supernatural beings? How innocent is the family that Borgman decides to infiltrate?

Marinetti Jan 24, 2015

Very bizarre and disturbing film from Europe. It has a fairy tale quality to it, yet it is firmly set in current times. It's definitely worth watching.

v
voisjoe1_0
Jan 03, 2015

While watching this film, you eventually hope to never meet a man like Camiel Borgman. In most films, the characters wake up from their nightmares to be relieved to find out they were only dreaming. In this film, the characters wake up, but the audience fears that the characters' lives might be as bad or worse than their nightmares. This film is so well done that it's genre might be called art horror.

nycounsel Dec 14, 2014

Interesting, if a bit slow, story about the takeover and destruction of an upper-middle class family by a malevolent outside force. Sometimes a bit murky; in addition to class issues, one theme seemed to be that the women were tricked into betraying the men in their lives who loved them, seeking relationships with men who were only using them as a means to an end.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

j
jimg2000
Aug 03, 2017

That bear was lovingly put together by human hands. Maybe even by children's hands.
Children who haven't a life as good as yours. Children who can't go to school, or to a doctor when they are ill. That bear was brought to this country in a plane or on a boat.
And then it went in a van to the city, to the toy shop. That bear has traveled an enormous distance. One day I was looking for a present for you and I saw this bear in the shop window. ...
===
There is something that surrounds us. Something that is outside us, but slips in now and then. A warmth... a pleasant warmth that intoxicates, but also confuses. The shell of something that means harm. At least that's what I think. I'm not sure.
===
Who could do such a thing? My husband is all kindness.

j
jimg2000
Aug 03, 2017

I walked straight into the trap, like a toddler.
===
You are Richard's wife. Richard is my superior. He is my boss. Seriously. Never mess around with the boss's wife.
===
I've had it removed.
-The tattoo?
Yes. I feel a lot better.
===
The children are overtired.
-Overtired? Because of what?
Because of the modern world. Don't forget they have a lot to cope with these days: TV, internet, school. In the holidays the child's body will give up.
-But all three overtired at the same time... that's very strange.
Maybe there's something else?
-For instance?
Tensions in the family?
-There's nothing like that in our family.
===
The lake was perhaps not very large but it was known to be very deep. Maybe as deep as a block of flats is tall. And everybody knew that there was something alive in it. A beast. A large beast with scales... and a beak with five hundred small sharp teeth. And that beast guarded the golden key to happiness.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top