(CINEUROPA) DIAGONALE 2023 Review: Smother
Since the mid-2010s, there has been a noticeable trend in Austrian cinema. So-called “elevated genre films” that merge genre (usually horror) topics and plot points with an artistic approach are becoming more and more present in the context of national cinema. This year’s edition of the Diagonale included three films that could be classified as such in the feature competition programme. While Peter Hengl’s Family Dinner [+] and Johannes Grenzfurthner’s Razzennest (both from 2022) have already had some festival exposure, Achmed Abdel-Salam’s feature debut, Smother (originally titled Heimsuchung), started its festival run with a premiere at the Austrian national film festival.