Alex van Warmerdam's darkest and most disturbing film to date is also his best, perfectly balancing black humour and psychological terror. After having been rooted out of their carefully hidden underground lairs, a group of strange vagabonds led by the calculating and enigmatic Camiel Borgman (fabulous performance by Flemish actor Jan Bijvoet) slowly but surely infiltrates the life of a well-to-do family. The titular character himself manipulates his way into the house of a rich but bored married couple (Jeroen Perceval and Hadewych Minis) by getting himself brutally beaten up by the husband, after which the wife, driven by both guilt and curiosity, secretly invites him into their lives. The stranger's mystique grabs hold of her more and more, until she begs him to stay when he tells her he is leaving. After that moment, there is no turning back for the family, as Borgman and his co-conspirators stop at nothing to take over, with deadly consequences. The result is an hallucinatory film that holds the middle between being an absurd comedy and a nightmarish horror movie about the seemingly familiar but ultimately inexplicable 'Other' permeating everyday life completely until it has utterly changed into something else entirely. It's 'them' versus 'us', the unknown world outside corrupting the familiar surroundings inside, but which side we are (supposed to be) on is never clear: do we go with this bizarre revolution of the dispossessed have-nots against the haves that live in luxury, or will we choose the side that lives a safe but dull life of complacent banality and conservative conformity? Bijvoet's Borgman is a terrifically played cold, unfathomable force of nature, a subtle instigator of change who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, though it's never clear just what his aim is. Equally compelling in her performance is Minis, who believably relays and builds on her character of a woman torn by a sense of dread and a burning desire for this strange man that can pull her out of her dull family life, while realizing there will be potentially devastating consequences if she lets him in. Opening with a citation we are to assume is Biblical – '…and they came down to Earth to replenish their ranks', which in the end is exactly what has transpired – the film suggests Borgman and his minions (which includes Van Warmerdam himself in a supporting performance) may be something other than human. You might even be inclined to think they may not even be there at all, existing only as cruel manifestations of the wife's psychological angst, but they are also destructively active outside of her direct environment as well (as her gardener and his wife discover, much to their dismay and our amusement). It's this surreal confusion about the protagonist's goals and existential status, combined with outrageous but thoroughly hilarious instances of dark humour and sombre witticisms that make Borgman an unusual but intriguing horror story, which despite its overly loose and offbeat third act is most definitely one of the finest Dutch films in many years.