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Das Experiment (2001) – Review

An Intense, Nail-biting Psychological thriller!!!

Das Experiment

Das Experiment is the first feature film for the director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, and he storms out of the gate with this riveting thriller. Das Experiment is based on a Mario Giordano’s novel Black Box and also is inspired from the famous Stanford Prison Experiment.

In this experiment 20 men are recruited for a University sponsored psychological experiment through a newspaper ad. All 20 are mere volunteers working for $1,700 mentioned in that ad. Eight of the volunteers are made into ‘guards’, and the others are made into ‘prisoners’. They are given respective uniforms and night dresses and their task, simply, is to maintain peace and order within the mock prison environment while following a basic set of guidelines.

The lead character of the drama, Fahd, a cab driver, is one of the prisoners and looks like a trouble-maker. The night before volunteering, Fahd involved in a car accident with a woman named Dora. The two lonely souls spend the night together and going through their emotions respectively.

The outcome of the experiment, despite of the strict rules and regulations, is what interesting and equally disturbing; How just uniforms can determine human behavior and nature. The psychology of each side is explored. The guards certainly become the film’s villains and you can come to a psychological understanding for: Why these ordinary people degenerate into nearly inhuman monsters? The malicious humiliation to which the prisoners are subjected is horrifying and makes for an absolutely draining viewing experience.

If you are looking for an compelling thriller Das Experiment is the one.

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2 comments on “Das Experiment (2001) – Review

  1. [...] more key difference is that “Das Experiment” shows the scientists watching the monitors and comenting as the events unfold. In the remake, there [...]

  2. I didn’t really like this movie as much as the 2010 remake. As I said in my blog post, it’s to Sci-Fi for the general idea behind it (the journalist recording with his glasses): a human psychological experiment story. Also, I believe that it didn’t insist enough on some of the scenes as the remake. All in all, it was an OK movie, but I really liked “The Experiment” more…

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