Dir: Stig Svendsen
Star: Liv Mjönes, Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne, Arthur Hakalahti, Kasper Antonsen
This is a well shot and tidy wee film, set in some impressive Nordic scenery. It’s believable (as best a werewolf film can be), well paced, with an underlying sense of urgency and creepy inevitability that never lets you go. The interplay between characters is well portrayed and believable (yup that word again), and so all the more horrific as events unfold. Not that there’s actually much horror here, and to be honest this is not a shock-fest, so shop elsewhere if such is more to your tastes.
Liv Mjönes plays (confusingly) Liv Berg, a police-officer who has recently moved to Nybo in Telemark with her teenage daughter, younger daughter and new husband. The back story is alluded to but never explained except by means of excerpts spat out in angry and hurtful exchanges with her daughter Thale (played by Elli Too-Many-Middle-Names Osbourne).
Escaping with a six pack (of beer) Thale joins a small and informal party at a park, along with other locals of her age, where she is clearly marked out as the ‘new girl’. It is at this party that the mayor’s daughter is attacked, mauled and dragged away screaming by something that may or may not be a very big wolf. (Unnecesary hint: it’s not a wolf)
Not long after a stranger calls to meet Berg, claiming insight into the disappearance. Quite reasonably Berg becomes a ‘bit peeved’ when Lars Brodin proclaims that he has been hunting this particular werewolf across Scandinavia for some time, explaining that only silver bullets will kill such a beast.
The newly recruited real wolf-expert frowns and explains that wolves don’t attack humans, and after the body is found and examined opines that, having consulted further… “…it would have to be a werewolf. But they’re not real…” And it’s eyes set to full goggle all round.
So, it’s at around the fifty minute mark that all the chickens are clucking loudly and eagerly coming home to roost, as finally the decision is made to go hunting for ‘the wolf’. Things go well and a while later, with only four dead and one in a coma, finally the ‘large wolf’ has been slain by a single silver bullet, after much lead has failed.
And that’s that then. We’re all done. Which left me wondering what the remaining thirty minutes of run time was going to be filled with…. in fairness if you can’t guess what’s next at this point in the film, then you really have not been paying any attention to it.
Sadly the ending fizzles out for various reasons, as things become unclear, confused, confusing and it ends incompletely. But, the journey has been worthwhile, and when all is said, this is just a werewolf film, and it’s a pretty straightforward one too, with little by way of twists or turns. Or actual shocks, and if this sounds a little dull it’s because, well I suppose for some, it is. But that doesn’t make it a bad film.
I watched it subtitled, my preferred way to watch foreign language films, but you might prefer the dubbed version which may (I don’t know) be a little less confusing at various (and some key) points late in the film.
Anyway, it gets a B from me and, but for the spluttering ending, it would have gained a ‘+’ too. But it didn’t. In other news, I used to be a werewolf, but I’m over it nooOOOOooow… …ta-bum-tissh…