Holy Shit! (2022) Cover Photo Grimoire of Horror

Holy Shit! (Holy Crap!/Ach du Scheisse!) is a 2022 German comedy thriller, written and directed by Lucas Rinker in his first feature-length work. As architect Frank awakens from unconsciousness, he finds himself trapped inside a porta-potty, bloodied and impaled on a piece of steel rebar. Unable to remember how he got there, Frank’s situation becomes all the more desperate as he realizes if he is to survive this ordeal, he must find a means of escape within the hour.

Being completely self-contained to the tiny environment of a porta-potty, this enigmatic story manages to keep an incredibly consistent pace throughout. Due to Frank’s head injury, the plot is slowly drip-fed to the audience as his memory of his initial encounter that caused this unfortunate situation begins to return slowly. Keeping the audience in a similar ignorance, the protagonist assists in preventing this simple story from languishing, each revelation pushing ever closer to piecing this bewildering puzzle of love and corruption together.

Assisting this enclosed story is an expert level of cinematography, effortlessly crafting a claustrophobic environment in which the protagonist finds himself trapped. The use of tight angles mixed with a disorientating sense of equilibrium creates an undeniably stylish albeit perplexing environment contained within four small plastic walls. Furthermore, the elegant use of color sporadically paints the toilet’s interior to denote a drastic change in tone. This periodical palette swap strongly supports the story’s progression modishly, with subsequent knowledge revealed to re-establish the film’s direction being delivered naturally.

Due to its location, the film does get dirty with toilet humour which may leave a nasty taste in the mouths of some. However, this element is intrinsic to the situation at hand rather than being shoehorned in – it doesn’t make it any less disgusting though. In spite of this, the rest of Holy Shit! is pitch black in its comedic tone, exacerbating an already insane scenario with the likes of comic book levels of villainy and treachery played in a serious tone. Indeed, it is this constant serious nature that brings all these different elements of comedy together in one cohesive direction.

Holy Shit! (Holy Crap!/Ach du Scheisse!)

Being portrayed as a near one-man show, Frank, played by Thomas Niehaus, is the driving force behind the entire production. His reactions to the situation he finds himself in feel realistic, portraying a human level of panic, frustration, as well as survivalist determination, which really ties the story together. Managing to prevent any form of stagnation that a single location or protagonist could cause, Holy Shit! remains a fascinating roller coaster of survival against the odds thanks to Neihaus’s performance.

True to its namesake, Holy Shit! Will certainly make you say just that. With its insane premise, pitch-black humour, and enthralling performances, this over-the-top comedy will certainly stir a laugh out of everyone – be it a belly laugh or a reflex to an uncomfortable situation. The slow release of plot points is perfect in keeping the pace at the right speed to create a captivating story that keeps you enthralled up until its final scene. An incredible job from director Lucas Rinker in his feature directorial debut along with a stellar performance from Thomas Niehaus, whose nuanced rendition elevates the film into a bleakly funny piece of cinema. Don’t miss your chance to get down and dirty with Holy Shit!

We watched Holy Shit! as part of the 2022 Fantaspoa Film Festival

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