2012 / Director. Cyrill Boss & Phillipp Stennert.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
VICTOR AND THE SECRET OF CROCODILE MANSION is a wonderful thriller made for children... and in this case the German kids get to have all the fun. It has an Australian release (probably an American and UK one too) which provides the option to watch it with an English dub - but I wouldn't recommend it. Perhaps if younger children were to watch it then it would not be an issue but slightly older kids would cotton on to it's dogginess quickly while also having a zero tolerance for subtitles. And so there isn't much of an audience for this film amongst English speaking kids. The story takes place inside an old homestead where Victor and his family are staying as guests. The house belongs to a great uncle who now lives in a nursing home and the other residents include an old house keeper, her son and single tenant. When Victor finds the diary of a little girl who died 40 years ago he discovers it to be full of secrets and riddles, which lead to an unknown treasure. Victor follows the clues and becomes swept up in an adventure that leads him through hidden passage ways and secret rooms. This is a really fun and delightful film. Directors Cyrill Boss and Phillipp Stennert have created a genuinely spooky atmosphere with a clever and fast paced narrative. The story's revelations are smart and the pay off is great. I found myself so absorbed in it so much that I forgot that I was watching a children's film. It plays out very much like a proper thriller with an unsolved death at its core. It resists the temptation to reply on cheap jump-scares and the suspense is built with good acting, a great story and an amazing production design. With a huge amount of eeriness it brilliantly maintains a safe and steady G rating the entire time. If you're a kid at heart or just love a good old fashioned mystery then definitely check this one out.