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Once again we have a movie where group of late teens gather to an abandoned
house to play murder-game (called "Backstabbed"). There's also your usual
serial killer loose in the neighborhood and the house in question has some
vague history. So, this movie isn't going to break any new
However, even though the format is too well-known, the direction is quite
well done here. The suspense is kept at high level throughout the movie,
unlike many similar movies that have dull moments. Some scenes even
the works of such masters of this genre like Mr Hitchcock.
So I give this 6/10 (or *** out of *****).
It was Martin Schmidt's second attempt to make a flick that would put him on the map. Sadly it failed a bit due I think that there wasn't really a budget. There aren't any effects used except for the slicing of one throat. Don't worry, there are more people dying but it isn't bloody or really gory. The killer itself do bleeds at the end but it's one of the easiest tricks to do. The story itself is okay and he even tries to mislead you by showing some weirdo who the viewer will think that he is the killer. The problem I had was that some scene's are way too long. For example, when one survivor is being hunted down by the killer it goes on and on, they are trying to put in some jump scene's but for me it was more of a bore scene. There had to be more killings or whatsoever to make it suspenseful. But again, it's made 16 years ago and there wasn't really a hype surrounding internet. Look what they did afterwards, pinhead in cyberspace or other flicks about deadly games (feardotcom). It surely isn't a whodunit but it's easy to see that it could just be a leaving examination made for some art school.
I am a very big fan of Dennis Jürgensen's books, have read nearly all of his work. So when I find out he's written the screenplay for a Danish horror movie, of course I make sure to see it. However, the book of this film is easier to come by than the movie itself, so I read that first. I was in no way disappointed; reading the book is like reading the script of one of the American slasher masterpieces, like Halloween, only in Jürgensen's style. I heavily recommend it to fans of Jürgensen. I don't, however, recommend this mess of a slasher movie. The script is written by Jürgensen all right, but a good script doesn't equal a good movie. Having read the book, I could recognize a lot of scenes and lines, but the film just lacks the intensity and mood of the book. Jürgensen has always had a talent in giving the reader chills down the spine, unfortunately it doesn't seem that this can be successfully copied into film; or maybe this just had the wrong director. Not that the cast helps much; most of the actors talents stretch no further than reciting their lines. They convey either too little or too much emotion in almost each scene. The plot is good enough, but it's the same as in the book, so you might as well read that. The actors are, as I said, either acting badly or overacting. The characters are fairly diverse, but they lack the development that the book supplies. A lot of the book was compressed to make sure the movie wasn't too long or boring. However, with so little development, you barely care at all about the characters, and therefore you don't feel for them when they die. The effects are weak; the death scene effects are especially below average. I realize that Danish films have less money than American do, to spend on effects, but I've seen independent films that had better effects. The movie does have some fairly good atmosphere in the beginning, but this quickly vanishes and we're left with some (sub)standard attempts at shocking you, by having a character leap out of the shadows every five seconds. Some parts of the story, which were scary in the book, also seem ridiculous and laughable in the film; for example, when I first read the end of the book, I actually had a chill down my spine... when I saw it in the film, I chuckled, mainly at the bad acting. All in all, an OK slasher film, average at best. I recommend this film to fans of slashers, but I urge you to read the book first/instead. It's far better. 5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is based upon a novel. It's the other way.
Line is a young girl who is a little bored in the small town. The place to be is at the local pub where all the young people hang out. The movie starts on this pub as one of her girlfriends is murdered. The rest of her friends and herself as well, go to a big empty house to play Backstabbed. A game where you have to "kill" everybody to win. Of course somebody's taking the game all too serious.
Along with this, Line is flirting with her friend Tim. But he is not as nice as he looks.
Surprisingly the script never really tries to hide the killers identity. This is either a poor try to be original or a very bad writer's work.
Good acting by Line Kruse as (Line?? Or was it Tine?), and Christian Grønwall as the deeply insane serial killer.
I'm always tempted to reward these movies from Northern Europe with some extra points, simply because the languages they speak over there are so utterly cool! Just look at this film's title, with the remarkable "o", and listen to some of the monologues! Even the most awful teen-slasher suddenly gets a whole lot more sinister with an odd title like this. The truth is, however, that this Danish attempt to cash in on the successful slasher-formula doesn't deserve to get any extra points. "Morkeleg" internationally released as "Backstabbed" is an incredibly unoriginal and mundane thriller that compares with the overload of slashers released in the States during the 80's. We've got a bunch of teenagers gathering in an old abandoned mansion to play a game in which they have to hunt and pretend to kill each other with fake knives. Naturally, the fun stops when a real maniac joins the party and actual blood flows through the corridors. The best thing I can possibly say about the film is that director Martin Schmidt occasionally manages to create a genuinely creepy and ominous atmosphere. The scenes in which an unseen culprit stalks the boys & girls up & down the stairs and through the dusty corridors are fairly unsettling and the actual murders are pleasingly gore. However, it's really easy to figure out the killer's identity and the red herrings attempting to mislead the viewers are laughably ineffective. The acting performances are okay, I guess. I've never heard of any of these Danish stars but I suppose they're popular in their home country and do a reasonably convincing job in their first horror roles. One of the characters keeps talking to his own finger, on which he has drawn a cute face and refers to as 'little piggy'. That was odd.
This is just your basic horror flick with young people running around in a
big empty house trying to murder each other. First they think it's only a
If you have nothing better to do and you like this sort of thing, it's okay I guess. Nothing special.
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