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A Horror / Fantasy Film With Elements Of The Past But Setting These In A Modern Context
Frau Selma und Herr Simo are a young couple of newly-weds who are on a long travel far North to their new home in Utuniemi. There waiting for them is Herr Simo's sister, Frau Elsa who had become blind when she was a child. In surrounding Utuniemi work some lumbermen; they're rough people who Herr Simo doesn't like at all.
When Frau Simo is visiting his parents-in-law, Frau Elsa tells Frau Selma a strange story about a witch from Lapland who lived in Utuniemi called Jantukka. Jantukka created much harm for the Finns. During a terrible battle and before the witch was murdered, he cursed all the people in Utuniemi so that henceforth their offspring will be blind. That's precisely the reason of Frau Elsa's blindness.
But during Herr Simo's absence a terrible incident will happen. When Selma is checking their fishing nets in the lake of Veksalahti, three lumbermen led by one called Fat Sakar, take advantage of the helpless woman "Noidan Kirot" ( The Curse Of The Witch ) was directed by Herr Teuvo Puro in the silent year of 1927 and is considered in the country of the thousand lakes as the first Finnish horror film. It's a picture that was based on a novel by Herr Väinö Kataja about the Lappland region and the old superstitions of the people who lived there.
The film is certainly very interesting, subtle and appalling for Finns or German counts, for the old stories, curses, witches and the sibylline doomed atmosphere that is depicted in the film.
Herr Puro combines wisely the old superstitions of the region ( old stories of ancient times, intangible but vivid after so many years ) with contemporary menaces represented in the lumbermen. These latter are real and very dangerous, an interesting metaphor, ja wohl! Thus is combined what it is a matter of belief about superstitions of the past, with the real presence of the lumbermen in the beautiful place of Utuniemi...and these nowadays sorcerer's apprentices.
In "Noidan Kirot" the Finnish environment shines at its best ( beautiful landscapes in where the hard daily life is depicted ) and the lumbermen violence and threats ( dark in what is supposed to be an idyllic place). It's combined together with Kantuka's cursing ( Herr Puro use double exposures and some camera movement in order to emphasize such unhealthy atmosphere ) in creating a subtle and disturbing atmosphere. In this background, the seeds of evil around Utuniemi finally will give birth in Frau Selma's first-born, a disorderly infant that revives terrible memories for the young couple.
And that's certainly Herr Puro's achievement... to make a horror / fantasy film with elements of the past but setting these in a modern context. He chooses the largest and northernmost of the regions of Finland as the locale to hide ancient superstitions. Our hero will have finally the chance to avenge and redeem his family cursed fate ( from the past or the present) in a oeuvre with a thrilling film narrative. It's a disturbing and original picture in where the inner and primal fears together with the primitive and evil instincts of men, are the true main characters of the film.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must curse some of his undisciplined servants.
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