The inspectors Thorsten Lannert (Richy Müller) and Sebastian Bootz (Felix Klare) are called to a mountain plateau just outside of Stuttgart. There young people found the naked corpse of Marcel Richter (Max Bretschneider). His mother reported the history student missing several days ago. Richter's body shows cuts from a dagger, and strange marks are scratched into his torso. Lannert and Bootz assume a ritual murder. They question a pastor whose church the student attended, Richter's fellow student Diana Jäger (Saskia Rosendahl), who really turns Bootz's head, and the private scholar Emil Luxinger (André M. Hennicke), who celebrates occult rituals in his basement. And then there's a missing 17th-century book that seems to hold the key to the whole story.
There is little that stands out positively about this thriller. One of the best - albeit brutal - scenes is Inspector Bootz, who lets himself be beaten until he's bloody in a cellar to opera by Maria Callas - and secretly fantasizes about hot sex scenes with student Diana.
"It's not about what it means, but what it does to you," says Inspector Lannert at the beginning of the investigation. Actually, he only means the strange mark that was scratched into the victim's chest, but this sentence could also stand for the entire "crime scene". It's about witches and mumbo-jumbo, possession and self-punishment, reincarnation and the occult. How all this is connected and what it is supposed to mean confuses not only the inspectors, but also the viewer. There is no real explanation for all the nonsense. A "crime scene" that leaves many questions unanswered and doesn't even think through to the end of little things, such as the shoe that the student Diana loses in the end: first her right foot, then her left foot is bare. That would not have happened to Cinderella.
Lannert and Bootz are more concerned with themselves than with the case: Bootz because he can't get Diana Jäger out of his head. Lannert, because he deals intensively with the self-proclaimed magician Emil Luxinger and is also looking for a deeper meaning behind all the medieval hocus-pocus.
Better watch the original films that director Piotr J. Lewandowski apparently took inspiration from: "Fight Club", "The Da Vinci Code" or "Cinderella". You can also save yourself the occult nonsense from Stuttgart by repeating it!
The "Tatort" episode "Guardian of the Threshold" was first broadcast on September 29, 2019. ARD repeats the case on Friday, December 16, 2022 at 10:50 p.m.