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Head Above Water (1993)

Hodet over vannet (original title)
Einar and Bjørn leave Lene on the island for a fishing trip. Then her former lover, Gaute, drops by unexpectedly. Drunk, he sleeps in the double bed. Lene sleeps on the couch and wakes up ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Lene Elise Bergum ...
Svein Roger Karlsen ...
Morten Abel ...
Reidar Sørensen ...
Jon Skolmen ...


Einar and Bjørn leave Lene on the island for a fishing trip. Then her former lover, Gaute, drops by unexpectedly. Drunk, he sleeps in the double bed. Lene sleeps on the couch and wakes up when the men come back. She tries to wake Gaute, but then discovers that he's dead. Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@boras.mail.telia.com>

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Comedy | Thriller


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Release Date:

August 1993 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Head Above Water  »

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Remade as Head Above Water (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Norwegian masterpiece
12 November 2011 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

This is one terrific movie, I can't believe they keep it hidden like this. I know very few norwegian movies, but I can tell this one is among the great ones.

What makes this movie so great? A lot of things. The plot is as intriguing as it is original and unusual. The norwegian settings are beautiful. There is tension, intensity, suspense and black, morbid humor. It's a very crazy movie and its craziness is a key reason why I like it so much. I like crazy movies and this is by far one of the craziest I know. Film-making, direction and picture quality are first class. The actors are terrific. Nothing or almost nothing is over the top, even though the character Einar does some truly disturbing (even shocking) things.

Lene Elise Bergum is super as Lene. She is so believable that when she is seized by panic, it looks as if she's gonna collapse. And she's one of the hottest people I've ever seen in a movie.

Svein Roger Karlsen is phenomenal as Einar. He convinces to the point of, more than portraying the character, seeming as if he *becomes* him. His facial expressions are priceless. He is completely crazy, enigmatic, ironic, hilarious and creepy and sinister when he's supposed to. This guy is like a norwegian Jack Nicholson and Peter Lorre.

Morten Abel makes a great Bjørn. Reidar Sørensen is as intense in his acting as his character Gaute is (in other words, a beautiful acting).

As expected, I have to say this: this movie had an American remake (itself not much better known than the original). The remake closely follows the original's plot and they are indeed very similar but obviously differ in details and the remake is more americanized. The remake seemed fine before but that was before I found out there is an original and compared them. The original triumphs beyond any doubt.

In comparison, the original is "truer", darker in some ways and more "humble" in others, has more beautiful scenario, infinitely better acting from the actors and avoids the laughable faults detected in the remake. Some things in the remake are over the top (for example, the chainsaw scene - PLEASE!!!) - of which the original is void of.

Lene Elise Bergum is phenomenal, easily a lot more convincing than Cameron Diaz. Lene is so much more intense. Harvey Keitel tries the best he can, but he just isn't in the same league as Svein Roger Karlsen. Craig Sheffer was enjoyable, but then again Morten Abel is better. Billy Zane is boring, which Reidar Sørensen never is.

Don't know the title in Portugal.

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