Wednesday, May 26, 2010


For those who have missed it, there have been a few gems turning up from Sweden recently so I want take the time to introduce some of them.

To begin with there is Let the right one in. This is one of the best vampire films out there and came out of nowhere leaving me baffled when I first saw it.
The story is unusual to begin with as it's about vampires, but the main antagonists are kids. It follows a young boy who befriends a girl seemingly his age that turns out to be a vampire. This movie perfectly balances the childish playfulness and humor with brutal reality. It places vampires as simple reality and treats the fact without glamor, special mysticism or the expected romantic/erotic features that we have come to expect. Also the story is told without the usual drama surrounding the blood-suckers. This was what made the movie stand out to me.
The actors were thankfully brilliant. Children acting in movies are such a big risk because there simply aren't that many good actors that young out there. We have all sat through a movie that placed too much focus on a badly acted youngster, which in turn destroyed the entire movie even if the co-actors did a brilliant job.

Of course, this movie is being re-done by Hollywood (explain to me why?). I knew it was a bad idea from the start, but when i heard the title I let out a long and heavy sigh. After watching the movie I felt the original title Let the right one in could both be seen from the boy's perspective - as he must invite the vampire in before she could enter his place (as is the common rule of vampires) and by doing so is risking his life, but also from her perspective - as she is searching for a new companion that she desperately needs to survive and must equally trust with her life.
The american title is - Let me in. Yep, no need to think on this one. Either they didn't get the original title or felt it was too complicated. The same way I expect the movie will be a watered down version of the original stripped of any scenes or story twists that might have you think for a second.

The second movie is actually a trilogy also known as the Millennium trilogy. A Swedish author and journalist by the name of Stieg Larsson wrote these books passing away just after finishing the last in the series. These have now all been filmed and were a great surprise to watch.
The first movie/book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can actually be seen as a stand-alone as it is a complete totally gripping story with a beginning and proper end (in contrast to the "to be continued...."). The story follows a journalist, who has been disgraced after a seemingly shocking report by him backfires and he is jailed for fabricating allegations. He receives a second chance when a rich old man hires him to track his niece and find out what happened to her. The twist: she mysteriously disappeared 40 years ago.
The journalist teams up with a young goth-looking woman, who turns out to be a brilliant researcher with a story of her own. We equally follow her (to who the title refers to) and the search for the missing girl. Both stories are brutal and tie you to the chair through the movie.
Again the stories are told without being dramatic about it.

The second movie -The Girl who played with Fire is undeniably a filler that leads you to the third and last movie. It is not bad, yet since it lacks the same sense of completion it feels a little weaker than the first one. The story is however very intriguing and takes you on a ride to a destination unknown. We now come to realize that the young punk-girl plays a much greater role and her story expands into the unexpected.

The third and last movie - The Girl who kicked the hornets' nest is the resolution of the entire story. It slows the pace and is more about clearing up the mysteries and finding piece and finally serving justice.

These movies get the highest grade from me and I strongly recommend checking them out.

If you are into horror movies, here at the end two good European slashers as a bonus since you read the whole thing :)

Norwegian - Fritt Vilt (english - Cold Prey)
Austrian - In 3 Tagen bist du tod (english - dead in 3 days

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Proven Wrong

Ok, I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong, so it's funny that just one post ago I was complaining about a lack of good sci-fi movies coming out.

Then I watched Pandorum. This movie surprised me as I wasn't expecting much. It was actually really fun to watch and had some great twists at the end. Here is my short review and to be fair - Spoiler Alert! I will be going into some story plot details.

The movie tells the story of the passengers on a space-ship that is headed to a second Earth after the mother-planet is well on the way to ....die? explode? become very very unconfortable?

The main hero, played by Ben Foster, wakes up with a memory loss and finds himself on this ship that seems to have gone to hell. Most of the passengers are missing and he finds corpses that have been brutally gutted. Creatures begin to chase him that look like mutated barbarians. It's overall very confusing, but slowly, as his memory comes back, he is able to find clues and people that explain what happened on the ship.

Dennis Quaid plays another pilot who woke up, but stayed in the sleep chamber room while our hero (B. Foster) goes on his dangerous trip to gain control of the ship. Quaid has not been a brand for quality movies recently but did a good job of playing this deranged pilot who turns out to be the reason for all the havoc on the ship. Ben Foster was excellent and carried the story through some of the rough spots.

Fun fact - one other survivor that Fosters character meets is played by Cung Le, my favorite mixed martial arts fighter. If you go watch some of his fights on youtube - you'll see why. This guy is a f***ing killing machine. And I really dig his fighting style.

The idea behind the mutants I thought was pretty original and cool - the people on board the ship had been injected with a serum that would help their bodies adapt to the new environment on the planet they are heading to - but due to them waking up during the long trip, some of them mutated as an adaption to the space ship.

The other really cool idea was what had happened to the ship and where it had gone since everything had gone out of control. We don't find out until the very end when Dennis Quaid opens up the view of the cockpit and we see ....nothing. Pitch black. Ideas start flying through your head as to what that could mean...and then they see glowing creatures....and realize that they already landed on the planet a long time ago and are under-water.

Over-all the atmosphere, acting, story made this a really good original sci-fi movie. So - take that Geroge Lukas! :p


Here a link to a video of the Icelandic Volcano which everybody should have heard of by now.

Makes me wonder if this was the islands reaction to the things going on over there - smoking out the bad guys... But a beautiful video non the less.

Once the international community has agreed to cut the debt we will turn it off...promise :)