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Last Employee, The (letzte Angestelle, Der)

Last Employee, The
Scene from "Der letzte Angestellte" (photo © Stephan Rumpf/Hofmann & Voges Entertainment GmbH)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2010

You can’t beat a good ghost story for raising those goose bumps and sending delicious chills down the spine, and Hofmann & Voges have come up with a doozy!

Der letzte Angestellte (“The Last Employee”) tells the story of David (Christian Berkel), a lawyer who has taken a job after a long period of unemployment. Except he is having a crisis of conscience. He is supposed to liquidate a company and fire everyone. And he does – for the sake of his wife Irina (Jule Ronstedt) and son Simon. His scruples appear justified: a young woman (Bibiana Beglau) collapses after he lays her off. He drives her home, tries to comfort her – BIG MISTAKE! She becomes aggressive. That same night she calls and threatens him. From now on she appears every day in the empty office or terrorizes him on the telephone. She seems to be everywhere. When she appears in his private life he drives, enraged, to her house – only to find her corpse! David’s life now spins out of control. He feels her ghost wants revenge on him and his family. He begins to fear the lifeless office. Every shadow, every sound, every door that opens increases his fear. David was once in psychiatric treatment, suffering from acute panic attacks. It’s no wonder his wife believes David’s ghostly visions to be a relapse. Is she right? Is he the victim of his own fears? Or is he really being haunted by a vengeful ghost?

As genre film lovers know, there are ghost films and ghost films. So what kind of ghost film is this? “Der letzte Angestellte is in the tradition of The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby,” its producer Philip Voges replies. “It’s also up there with those masterpieces of Japanese ghost films, Dark Water and The Grudge.” Oh yes! Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Der letzte Angestellte’s writer and director is Alexander Adolph who, coincidentally, studied Law at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximillian-University but found writing radio plays more fun and rewarding. In 1997 he won the U.R.T.I. (Grand Prix de la Radio).

Moving into moving pictures, Adolph’s first script was a Tatort episode, which garnered him an Adolf Grimme Award in 2002. He picked up a second one for the first episode of the ZDF series Unter Verdacht, which he also developed. The second episode won him, 2003, the German Television Award and Juliane Bartel Award. The same year he had to make more space on the shelf for the Author’s Award of the Cologne Conference. His script for the film Kleine Schwester won the 2004 VFF TV-Movie Award and was nominated for the Grimme Award 2005. His documentary Die Hochstapler, in which four convicted fraudsters speak about their misdeeds, played at festivals, including Amsterdam, London and Munich. In 2008 he received another Grimme Award nomination for a new Tatort episode and in 2009 he directed, from his own script, the feature film So gluecklich war ich noch nie, with Nadja Uhl and Joerg Schuettauf.

As the phenomenal success of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity shows, the audience for scary movies is huge. So dim the lights, close the curtains, snuggle up close and get ready to jump!

Genre Horror
Category Feature
Year of Production 2010
Director Alexander Adolph
Screenplay Alexander Adolph
Cinematography Jutta Pohlmann
Christel Suckow
Dieter Schleip
Jana Karen-Brey
Cast Bibiana Beglau, Jule Ronstedt, Christian Berkel
Producers Philip Voges, Alban Rehnitz
Production Company H & V Entertainment/Munich, in co-production with ZDF, ARTE
Shooting Dates Munich, October – November 2009
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Porto 2011
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, MEDIA

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81379 Munich/Germany
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