THE COLUMNIST is a new horror-comedy from The Netherlands. A columnist has had more than enough of online trolls on Twitter and decides to confront them in real life. Screened at Fantasia 2020. Read our The Columnist review here!
THE COLUMNIST is a Dutch horror-comedy with a very universal story. A female writer is constantly attacked on Twitter by men, who write increasingly disgusting and threatening messages. Either to or about her.
Eventually, she has more than enough and decides to take matters into her own hands. She confronts them in real life, where they tend to be a lot less vocal. Oh yeah, and then she kills them. This is a very dark horror-comedy that works brilliantly!
We were able to screen this movie virtually for Fantasia 2020. Continue reading our full The Columnist movie review below.
Realism mixed with pitch-black humor
The name of the columnist in this movie is Femke Boot and the things said to her online are truly brutal. Often violent but also disgusting attacks on her character and sometimes aimed at her teenage daughter.
In other words, exactly what women speaking up encounter in the world we know today.
That’s actually what works remarkably well for this horror-comedy. The things said to or about Femke Boot are 100% realistic and identical to what you can read under any post by a woman with an opinion. Whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Chrissy Tiegen, they are met with the same kind of rhetoric.
The fictional part of The Columnist is when Femke Boot does what others might dream of sometimes; She confronts these online trolls and is met with the most average and anonymous men. Often full of apologies and “it was a joke”-defenses.
Femke Boot doesn’t care. She kills them and thus this movie becomes a serial killer horror-comedy!
Oh yeah, and for the record, the Femke Boot character definitely is not flawless either. She often has her head so far up her own backside that she is rarely a good mother to her sweet and fierce daughter.
Katja Herbers is “The Columnist”
The absolute star of The Columnist is Katja Herbers, who plays the title role. You’ll recognize Katja Herbers if you’ve watched Westworld where she been in season 2 and a bit in season 3 as Emily Grace.
Also, Katja Herbers has been in a few episodes of the TV series The Leftovers and The Americans. Most recently, she starred in the CBS series Evil which has an awesome premise and a high IMDb rating. I have yet to check it out but certainly, I plan on it.
Basically, I suspect you’ll know Katja Herbers from the American TV series she’s been in. Also, please don’t let the fact that this is a Dutch movie keep you from watching it. Twitter is Twitter all over the world and the subject is extremely universal.
Also, if you’ve watched the Netflix horror series Ares, then you’ll know that Dutch productions are very impressive.
Do put The Columnist on your “To Watch”-list
You might think that The Columnist was written and directed by a woman, but you would be very wrong! This movie was directed by Ivo van Aart and written by Daan Windhorst. Both men.
The two have worked together on many projects. Both movies and TV series and clearly have a wonderful partnership as creators. I would always be ready to watch a new movie by these two after watching this one!
The original title of this movie is De Kuthoer which means something a lot more crude than The Columnist. Watch the movie (with subtitles and not dubbed) to find out what it means. I certainly understand why they went with the more laid back, and still appropriate, English title instead.
To me, The Columnist is perfect both as a horror-comedy and a comment on society. Which often is exactly what good horror-comedies can be. Imagine Dexter (as in Dexter Morgan of the Dexter series) as a woman who just has no f*cks left to give because she now takes action instead of shit.
That’s Femke Boot of The Columnist. Enjoy!
The Columnist screened at Fantasia 2020.
Director: Ivo van Aart
Writer: Daan Windhorst
Stars: Katja Herbers, Bram van der Kelen, Claire Porro, Genio de Groot, Harry van Rijthoven, Rein Hofman
Columnist and author Femke is flooded with anonymous nasty messages and death threats on social media. One day she has enough and decides to take revenge.