Friday, November 23, 2012
"I. TOLD. YOU. SO!", that's the usual mature words from Jocke over at Rubbermonsterfetishism after I've seen another one of the movies he's been nagging about for years and years and year and years. Skjult (or Hidden, the
one of these films. And like in the case with the Finnish horror classic Sauna
he actually, finally, bought the movie for me so I would feel forced to watch
it. This is of course good for me, because I never so no to free DVDs and if
they happen to be good it's even better. With Skjult I was on the edge of my
seat, not only because of the suspense but also because... well, lets wait a
bit with discussing that. First the story... US
Kai's mother has died. He hasn't seen her for many years, mostly because she was a fucking monster. He still despises her there in the morgue and when he understands she left her dreaded house to him, he goes on a mindfuck until he's not sure what's real or not...because, is someone...something living in the house? Who can it be and what do it have to do with him and the past that haunts him over and over again...
Skjult is one of the best and eerie horror movies I've seen in a while. I especially like the mix of horror and mystery, something that many wannabe horror-directors forget in their hunt after making a cool, gory horror story. I like that to, but I'm a fan of good twists and the one in Skjult really kept me very nervous - because part of the set-up of the twist makes the ending suck big time. And... well, I don't think it sucked. I think it ended just the way I wanted it, but still... there's clues here and there that it's a lazy, shitty ending - but something tells me it's just a way for the filmmakers to fuck around with us in the same way as the leading character is being fucked with by his memories.
A good genre movie never needs dialogue and Skjult thankfully keeps away from the talky parts and tells a story with few words and a lot of very intelligent use of the camera and editing. I literary jumped right up a couple of times, which is very rare nowadays - for me at least. Kristoffer Joner, who plays Kai, is one of the best and most convincing Norwegian actors right now, a guy who can do genre movies like Ond Tro and Bad Faith and still do it without ham it up. There's not need to act like damn moron just because you're in a horror movie (just watch me in
!), keep it real
and the audience will follow you to hell and back. Camp
Skjult makes small, neat references to several horror films and sub-genres. From The Changeling and House by the Cemetery to slashers (somehow it actually a slasher turned-in-side-out, like Santa Sangre is a giallo backwards - more on that another time) and classic haunted house stories. This is excellent and it works so well. It's one of those combinations that you would never see in a Swedish production, at least not yet. It's brave because it's could be confusing for a genre-sensitive audience.
If you want deep, dark forests, dangerous waterfalls in slow-mo, old ugly dirty buildings and close to dim-witted locals (in a realistic way, I've seen all these characters where I lived before, in Jämtland, Sweden), Skjult is the movie for you. It has a frustrating, but in the end - after giving it some thought - a very rewarding ending. It makes you think and analyze and I've been doing some thinking and no, it doesn't suck. It's actually not bad at all.
Rent it, buy it, try to see it. I would love to hear what you think about this Norwegian chiller!