Senses of Cinema has an article that describes the conditions of the making of the film and says, "[Director] Herz’s has described The Cremator as an “expressionistic” horror film, which echoes The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ... in its subjective visualising of the mind of a madman."
DVD Talk says, "The only label that begins to fit the show is Psychological Horror, but that doesn't take into account author Ladislav Fuks' insightful analysis of the insidious spread of Nazi influence in his country just prior to WW2." DVD Beaver scores it 9 1/2 out of 10 and calls it "An enjoyably strange, undoubtedly original and occasionally terrifying film". Quiet Earth opens its review with this: "The Cremator is not for your average horror fan. It's for cinephiles and those who love weird films as it doesn't fit into the horror category directly, it takes a much longer and more existential route."
Rotten Tomatoes has no critics score, but the audience rating is 92%.