Tomas Laustiola is John Vinge, a Swedish-Finnish cop that's responsible to catch a brutal serial killer. This unknown maniac slaughters innocent families out camping, with a HUGE machete. He or she is also dressed in a black robe and a creepy African mask, the mask of the Moon God. To really mess up the minds of the police the killer films his evil deeds and let the police have it as a gift.
Vinge, an alcoholic and a victim of an abusive father - also an ex-cop, is tired of being a nobody. He continues the investigation together with Erland Salander (Per Myrberg), a profiler who has retired because of a nervous breakdown. Together they find that more and more clues leads to the Ethnographic Museum where two mysterious researchers work, a woman that attracts Vinge's attention and the creepy Andreas Gregor (the always f**king brilliant Heinz Hopf). But more life's are at stake, and the killer is getting more and more brutal...
... and no, it's not nearly as scary as I remember it! But this is still a really great little thriller which has no connections at all with the typical slasher, It has more nods to the Italian giallo and American thriller actually. The pace is quite slow, but filled with tension and mostly good and great acting. The dialogue can, as usual with Swedish productions, be a bit stiff - but the actors do their best and they all feel convincing. It also looks great and has some creative visual touches that very few other Swedish TV-productions have. Jonas Cornell did a very fine job here.
As a movie made for Swedish television this is unique in many ways. First of all, it dares to be commercial with some brilliant set pieces and spectacular backstories. The red herrings are shameless and honest, and the concept with lost and found footage works extremely well. It's not only the footage that the killer leaves (which is really eerie), there's also another surprise later on in the movie with reminds me of Cannibal Holocaust of all movies! Yeah, it’s a long shot – but I’m sure you know what I mean when you see it. As a Swedish production from this time is also quite violent, but compared to what we see today - or earlier in other countries cinema - it's weak. It has one graphic murder though, and some brutal shots of the killer dragging people out from their tents and whacking them with a machete.
It starts of as a normal Scandinavian cop-movie, but evolves into something more colourful and odd. It has hidden documents, silent movies, murders, old artifacts, a childhood-trauma worthy of Dario Argento, a masked killer with black gloves and even a supernatural touch which I love. It's been hyped over the years for being scary, but it's just more than scary: It's a damn fine little TV-movie which holds your interest from the beginning to the end.
I was surprised to see how good it was after all these year, and to be honest - I prefer this one before all these trillion fucking boring Beck, Wallander and Van Veeteren-movies that being produced every day. Here's a movie that borrows heavily from the European genre cinema and feels proud of that. For once there’s a Swedish movie that could be called international and actually wants to do something with a tired genre.