This dispassionate portrait of a serial killer—based on the case of German
teenager Jürgen Bartsch, who in the early 1960s murdered four younger boys and
tried to kill a fifth—is intensely disturbing without being graphic.
Writer-director Kai S. Pieck is clearly fascinated by the contradictions between
what his subject says and what actually transpired. But it's Schenke and
Urzendowsky's dual performances as Bartsch that elevate the film above
freak-of-the-week status. Neither shies away from the monstrousness of this
murderer's acts, while offering sad glimpses of the stunted boy inside the beast.