The Huntress of Auschwitz begins with a young woman identified only as The Huntress (Lowri Watts-Joyce, Muse, The Krays: Dead Man Walking) meeting with Amelia Kaminska (Rula Lenska, The Exorcism of Karen Walker, Queen Kong) and saying that she’s found “Him” before producing an old photo of a man in a World War 2 German uniform. Then we get a long montage accompanied by a hideous acoustic song of her flying from Los Angeles to London.
That’s when the alarms started going off in my head. Writer/director Richard John Taylor (The Krays: Gangsters Behind Bars, Vengeance) put an almost identical sequence in his film The Haunting of Pendle Hill which also starred Lowri Watts-Joyce. Recycling footage from that talkfest was not a good sign.
She takes a room at a less than welcoming inn where she meets John (Noel Brendan Mcalley, One Way Love, Under the Mud) who asks her why she’s come to this remote in. Instead of an answer, we get a scene of a blanket pulling itself off of her, which turns out to be a nightmare. We’re fifteen minutes into The Huntress of Auschwitz and If you’re not confused by now, just wait, you will be shortly.
As it turns out she’s flown across the Atlantic on a mission to bring the concentration camp guard who killed her great grandmother to justice. Considering the Holocaust ended in 1945 and it’s now 2022 you could be forgiven for wondering if she planned to sneak into a nursing home and smother him with a pillow. But The Huntress of Auschwitz bills itself as a horror film as well as a thriller so I was hoping there would be some Satanic rituals giving him eternal youth so we could get some action.
Instead, we get yet another montage as she walks across the countryside ending up at a farm belonging to Rudolf Tannhäuser (Jeffrey Charles Richards, Miles Away, Muse) who promptly drugs her drink and sniffs the panties in her backpack.
Eventually, The Huntress of Auschwitz does pull together something resembling a coherent storyline, but by that point, I was so bored it didn’t matter. Not that things get any more interesting or exciting, the film simply cut back and forth between a horrendously boring interrogation of a man who is obviously way too young to have been a guard at Auschwitz and flashbacks to Amelia filling The Huntress in on what a monster her quarry is. In other words a lot more talk.
The Huntress of Auschwitz deals out the usual interludes that are supposed to work up tension, like a local cop coming around asking questions but they go nowhere and do nothing but prolong the audience’s agony as the film and its characters drone on and on. Even when our heroine decides to become more forceful with her interrogation methods it’s mostly off-screen. We see blood on his shirt but event depicting what happened by way of sound effects was beyond this film’s budget.
What we’re left with is a thriller with no thrills and nothing, except for the implication that she’s torturing him, that even remotely resembles horror. If the implication is that the horror was the events of The Holocaust that’s even further trivializing those events.
A last-minute twist tries to draw doubt on her captive’s identity but also serves to rationalize it by way of saying he’s still a bad person and deserves everything he gets either way. But even if he is the guard, how heroic and noble is torturing a man who would probably be well over 100 years old? Not content to just be excruciatingly dull, The Huntress of Auschwitz manages to be distasteful in all the wrong ways as well.