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Skjult (2009)

Director:
Pl ie
COUNTRY
Norway
GENRE
Horror/Thriller
INTERNATIONAL TITLE
Hidden
RUNNING TIME
96 minutes
Producer:
Jan Aksel Angeltvedt
Screenwriter:
Pl ie


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Kai Koss Kristoffer Joner
Sara Cecilie Mosli
Roy Marco Kanic
Anders Eivind Sander
Peter Anders Danielsen Lie
Miriam Karin Park
Kai Koss' mor Agnes Karin Haaskjold
Frode Bjarte Hjelmeland
Svenna Arthur Berning
Kai Koss som barn Andreas Haugsb
Peter som barn Marius Rusti

 

Review

Pl ie, who wrote and directed his first film, Villmark in 2003, now returns with a psychologically elaborate and thematically more ambitious horror film. The setting is still largely the wilderness and ie borrows eagerly from both classic and more recent films in the genre, such as The Shining and Naboer, as he has Kristoffer Joner dash around creaky old mansions, dense forests and overlookesque hotels searching for the truth in a tangle of palpable reality, treacherous past and haunting fantasy. The story is explosive at its best, and when ie combines his great psychological insight with enticing, suspense-minded direction, Skjult is bordering on greatness. When ie allows to free himself from genre conventions and really explore the dark matter he weaves, Skjult is as relevant and vibrant as psychological thrillers come.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers seem to feel obliged to meet genre conventions which more often than not weaken the film. The intention might have been to create a more diverse and all-including film (incorporating more ambiguous and fantastical elements), or to attract the attention of the younger generation of movie-goers more easily. Either way, elements such as mirror tricks or  banal seat-jumpers come off as too simple for a film of otherwise high standards.

Still, Skjult remains interesting throughout and holds up until the end. Kristoffer Joner's devoted performance in the lead (one he is getting well-trained at) and Anders Danielsen Lie's explosive single scene help retain the logic among ie's many suggestions. And ie shows he has matured as a director since his debut film - this time appearing more confident stylistically and more crafty visually. The craftmanship in Skjult is also brilliant, from Guri Giver's alluring scenography to Sjur Aarthun's delicate photography.

 

Copyright 13.4.2009 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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