World War II may have come to an end but in the Czech-Polish-German border region life is still full of danger. Bands of Nazi guerrilla Werewolves are hiding out in the forest, waiting to get across the frontier into Germany. Along the way they force themselves upon the humble local farms, leaving a trail of corpses in their wake. Based on the novel of the same name, the film’s director avoids the usual period simplification, instead constructing a monumental tragedy of people in critical situations, concentrated into a few days and within the walls of a secluded mountain dwelling. Along with the farmer’s daughter Ulrika, the heroes here are Fear, Despair, Brutality and Destruction, yet ultimately also Mercy, the bringer of hope. The film’s sombre atmosphere is heightened by Smutný’s expressive lens and a mesmeric score.