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Escape (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) - Review


Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

HAVING already teamed up to notable effect with Cold Prey, director Roar Uthaug and actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal repeat the trick with new chase thriller Escape.

Set 10 years after the Black Plague has ravaged their country, a poor family sets out on a journey for a new home only to be attacked by a band of merciless killers led by the vicious Dagmar (Berdal). The only survivor is young Signe (Isabel Christine Andreasen), who is taken as a hostage to the gang’s camp, where she meets fellow kidnap victim Frigg (Milla Olin) and learns that a terrible fate awaits her.

Finding an unlikely ally in Frigg, however, the two girls escape and face a desperate battle for survival as Dagmar and her band of warriors close in for retribution.

Set amid some of Norway’s spectacular scenery, this is the type of thriller that is sure to draw comparisons with The Hunger Games given its use of a female protagonist forced to fight to the death to survive.

But there’s also elements of Apocalypto and Centurion for its raw, no-nonsense approach, both in terms of the action and its environment.

And while short (clocking in at just 76 minutes), Uthaug still manages to create some vivid characters, with both Olin and Andreasen forging a credible friendswhip as Frigg and Signe, clearly out of their depth yet relying on instinct (and often luck) to get by.

Berdal, meanwhile, ensures that Dagmar is a conflicted villain, whose own barbaric inclinations are forged from deep personal tragedy and persecution. It’s notable, too, that the strongest characters are female, which lends the film an extra sense of its own identity.

Escape is therefore an exciting chase thriller that offers visual spectacle to match its emotional intelligence. It’s well worth making the time to see.

In Norwegian, with subtitles

Certificate: 15
Running time: 76mins
UK DVD Release: July 29, 2013