A Descent into Darkness: Austrian Horror Shows Desperate Act of Suicide by Proxy

The Devils Bath 1

The Austrian/German horror film “The Devil’s Bath” isn’t your typical jump-scare movie. Written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (the team behind “Goodnight Mommy” and “The Lodge”), it dives into something far more disturbing – bleak realism.

The movie stars musician Anja Plaschg as Agnes, a woman who descends into crippling depression after she is married. Isolated and yearning for escape, Agnes considers suicide but is terrified of going to Hell. In a shocking twist, she commits a terrible crime believing it will grant her passage to Heaven.

“The Devil’s Bath” Tells the Story of Depression’s Desperation

“The Devil’s Bath” is a powerful film but a difficult watch due to its subject matter. The film is based on real events – hundreds of women throughout Europe resorted to “suicide by proxy” in the 17th and 18th centuries. They would kill a child, confess their crime, and be executed believing they would go to Heaven.

The Devil's Bath
Still from The Devil’s Bath (Credit: Filmladen)

The movie doesn’t shy away from the disturbing aspects of this historical phenomenon. It forces viewers to confront a dark time when desperation leads people to commit unthinkable acts. While “The Devil’s Bath” may not be entertaining, it is a thought-provoking exploration of a little-known historical reality.


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