AT CROSS PURPOSES Hller is self-possessed.
AT CROSS PURPOSES Hller is self-possessed.

Time Out says

The 20th century is filled with factual and fictional “possessed” adolescent girls—think Anna O. and other analysands of Freud, The Exorcist’s Regan MacNeil—and now Michaela Klingler (Hller), the gangly, headstrong teenager supposedly seized by Satan in Requiem. Michaela is based on the real-life Anneliese Michel, who died in 1976 after exhaustion brought on by several dozen exorcisms (and whose story also inspired last year’s howler The Exorcism of Emily Rose).

Director Hans-Christian Schmid nicely lays out his devout heroine’s first tastes of liberation: At university and away from her sour, disapproving mother (Kogge) for the first time, she necks with a boy, rocks out to Deep Purple’s “Anthem” and pursues her studies with ferocious determination. When the priests are summoned, easily spooked viewers will not have to avert their eyes: There are no 360-degree rotating heads or torrents of vomit, just Hller’s flailing limbs and angry adolescent invective. “I’m out of control,” Michaela says to her college chum Hanna (Blomeier). Indeed, Hller tears into the role, at times almost combusting. But a rushed, too-tidy final act undercuts the raging turmoil the actor so expertly conveys. Might the demons have disappeared if Michaela had channeled her fury by hooking up with the Baader-Meinhof gang? (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Melissa Anderson



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