Although it features spooky production design, solid acting, and plenty of great set pieces, this German suspense film wears its Coma lineage on its sleeve and finds itself reduced to medical thriller clichés by the end. Things start off promisingly enough with the low-key performance of Franka Potente and the smartly detailed establishing scenes of Stefan Ruzowitzky's script. Anna Loos subverts bimbo stereotypes with her supporting role as a brilliant but carnal med student, while Traugott Buhre embodies an enjoyably archetypal crusty old prof. But once we're past the ominous setup and the first few scenes of stomach-churning involuntary dissection, Anatomie settles into familiar conventions: sex scenes punctuated by murder; not-so-startling character revelations; and what seem like miles and miles of institutional corridors, with florescent lights that invariably flicker as various characters run down them. By the time Potente's character wakes up, disoriented and strapped to an examination table, the waft of mothballs has become overpowering. Ruzowitzky may exhume bits of earlier movies with clinical precision, but his Frankenstein's monster of a horror flick is novel only for its German accent.
by Brian J. Dillard review