De dødes tjern (1958)
One of the corner-stones of Norwegian filmmaking, De dødes tjern has inspired numerous of both Scandinavian and international subsequent films in the genre. Technically, Norwegian film of the period was somewhat inferior to American and European cinema, but the strength of the material is better than most contemporary films. Derived from the acknowledged book by André Bjerke/Bernhard Borge, De dødes tjern boasts a psychological and spiritual depth of unparalleled proportions. And for most of the process, director Kåre Bergstrøm manages to convert it into engaging and thrilling cinema. The acting is uneven, but the fine Henki Kolstad carries the film brilliantly with his everyday persona, and the dialogue - although archaic - is amusing and bright. The final 10 minutes is as chilling as anything you'll ever see on film. Films from The Ring to Villmark all owe their legacy to De dødes tjern.