Say no to the voices and do the right thing. That’s the challenge facing Markus Larsen (Sten Jacobs) in writer/director Curtis Burz’s The Summer House, which will be making its domestic DVD debut on Aug. 25 courtesy of Artsploitation Films.
Markus is a moderately successful architect, living a comfortable life on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany with his wife, Christine (Anna Altmann) and their 12-year old daughter, Elisabeth (Nina Splettstöber). But it is not all wine and roses as the Larsen marriage is definitely on the rocks.
Markus, it seems, has an addiction. No, it is not drugs or alcohol, but his addiction is one of a sexual nature. He is into men, but still finds time for the occasional rough-sex session with Christine.
It is a home and marriage that reads like quiet desperation. Christine suspects her husband’s secret and their daughter is at the age where she notices the friction.
That’s your set up. A family in trouble, a daughter coming-of-age, a professional with problems and his wife is not happy, perhaps even suicidal. Now how can you make that any worse?
When, Johannes (Jaspar Fuld), the son of a business associate — who is about the same age as Elisabeth — enters the picture, it is a temptation that Markus finds nearly irresistible. It is, by any standard, a forbidden desire, even criminal.
But don’t assume that the predator is Markus. Johannes’ father is in serious financial waters and the boy is a quick study in the art of manipulation.
The Summer House is an intense look at the unraveling of a man. It is a car wreck … a devastating one, that is impossible to turn away from.
Presented in German with English subtitles. Bonus features include cast and crew interviews, an alternate ending and deleted scenes.