The rise of Scandinavia cinema - 10 films to see
Feature by Jack Foley
THERE has been a steady rise over recent years in the popularity of the Scandinavian film industry.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo franchise is widely perceived as being the series that kick-started this interest, in addition to a flurry of exceptional hit TV shows including The Killing and The Bridge to name but a few.
With Hollywood gazing admiringly at Scandi output, what better time to look at the cream of the crop, so here’s our guide to the very best output from our blonde haired friends:
The Hunt (main picture) – Gripping, compelling and devastatingly dramatic The Hunt is one of the most searingly intelligent feature releases in recent years. Mads Mikkelson plays lead character Lucas who is just starting to pull his life back together following a divorce. But when a little girl at the nursery where he works tells a random lie that is impossible to ignore, Marcus’ world begins to fall apart. As shock turns to mistrust and then malice, it doesn’t take long before the local community is in a collective state of hysteria, igniting a witch-hunt that threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life.The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – It all started when Stig Larson introduced his hugely popular trilogy of novels a few years ago. One of the most popular series crime books ever written, there was huge expectation and anticipation when the movie adaptation was announced. 2012 saw the first instalment hit cinema screens and fans weren’t left disappointed.
Not only a huge critical success, the film became a worldwide phenomenon with Hollywood eventually snapping up the rights to this movie franchise. A visually stunning thriller, this trilogy grabs fans attentions from the moment the opening credits roll with its complex series of twists and turns. The cast help to propel this franchise, most notably lead character Noomi Rapace who took on the role of iconic character Lisbeth Salander.
Headhunters – Another novel (this time Jo Nesbo), and another hit – Headhunters follows a corporate headhunter and part-time art thief who bites off more than he can chew when his latest mark turns out to be a very different kind of head hunter… One of the highest grossing foreign films of 2012, Headhunters continued Scandinavia’s continuing success at the box office.
King Of Devil’s Island – Hollywood heavyweight Stellan Skarsgard returns to his Scandinavian roots in this indie flick. King of Devil’s Island is based on a true story telling the unsettling story of young delinquents banished to a remote prison of Bastoy.
Valhalla Rising – Starring The Hunt’s Mads Mikkelson as One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, who has been held prison by the chieftain Barde. Aided by a boy, Are, he kills his captor and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness.
Let The Right One In – Ahead of its time, Let The Right One In is a simply stunning horror movie concerned with examining the vampire myth – Twilight this is not! Following the theme of film adaptations, Let The Right One In started life as a novel by author John Ajvide Lindgvist, and is anything but a slasher fest instead intelligently focusing on friendship, love and loneliness.
Nightwatch – Focusing on a young law student, Martin Waldau, who takes a job at the local morgue, this edgy thriller is a gripping tale of mistaken identity. When the victims of a serial killer of prostitutes are deposited at the morgue, scary things begin to happen and before long the police suspect Martin is the killer!
Show Me Love – Set in small town Sweden, Show Me Love explores the lives of two teenage girls. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin. This coming of age movie explores the growing pains of turning from child to young adult
Deliver Us From Evil – This Danish classic focuses on a father who returns to his old hometown with his young family. Events force him to face the small town’s xenophobia.
Jackpot – This edgy thriller starts with a terrified and bloody man, Oscar Svendsen, who wakes up gripping a shotgun in a strip joint, surrounded by eight dead men and with the police aiming squarely at him. To Oscar it’s clear that he is innocent, but how does he prove he is the victim here?!
The Hunt is released on Blu-ray and DVD from March 25, 2013 courtesy of Arrow Films.