Thursday, September 30, 2010

Det Okända (2000)

After The Blair Witch Project everyone wanted to make their own digital horror movie in the backwoods somewhere. Me and a couple of friends made what probably was the first Blair Witch-spoof, The Ninja Spirit Project. Entertainment Weekly payed over 900 Swedish kronor to get a VHS-copy shipped to New York! Poor them! Anyway, Det Okända (aka The Unknown) was a hyped project the arrived to cinemas in the year 2000. Shot with digital cameras and with the same rough style like Blair Witch, but no mockumentary, it was a small success. I remember it to be quite boring, but I decided to give it a new look and surprise… it was better than I remember it to be!

Five geologists are travelling to the north of Sweden to examine how the landscape has been affected by a big forest fire. When they arrive they soon find a strange object, like a deformed animal. After the first nights drunken party one of the members becomes ill, starts to bleed from her private regions. Soon she behaves more and more strange, and everything seem to be connected to the strange “animal” they’ve found… The paranoia is spreading, and soon something is taking over their bodies one after another…

A mix between The Thing and Blair Witch, but with much smaller budget and a cast of (then) unknown actors doing their best to behave naturally in front of the camera (which seem very hard for Swedish actors to do!), this works fine – a lot better than when I saw it the first time. I probably compared it to much to Blair Witch (a much scarier movie), but after so many years this holds up very well. The acting is sometimes a bit uneven, but most of the time really good – so is the (adlibbed?) dialogue. The photography is rough and simple, very grainy video-footage, but adds a lot of atmosphere to the dark Swedish forest.

It might not be scary, but it’s never boring and gives a few thrills here and there, especially when the paranoia sets in during the last half of the movie. One thing they’ve stolen completely from The Thing is when the look another character up and that person are trying to convince them to let him out. It works good in this movie too.

The “alien” (or what the hell it is…) might look like a deformed barbecued chicken, but Det Okända works a lot better than it should. If you can find it on a DVD with English subtitles, I recommend a purchase.

1 comment:

MrFistit said...

Always liked this one alot! One of the better swedish attempts at horror, nonetheless.