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The sequel to Jagarna (1996), the film concerns Erik who is asked to return to his hometown in Sweden to solve a brutal murder. Although hesitant to go back due to unfavourable memories of the town, Erik accepts, but finding an answer to the murder proves a complex task. Written by
Immensely powerful Swedish suspense drama, intense and harrowing
This is a masterpiece of nail-biting intensity. It is a sequel to a film made as long ago as 1996 by the same director, Kjell Sundvall, with the same actor, Rolf Lassgard, called THE HUNTERS (JÄGARNA, 1996). Lassgard in both films plays Stockholm detective Erik Bäckström, who returns to his roots in the wild and remote northern part of Sweden, a land of vast conifer forests, hunters, and small introverted settlements where everybody knows everybody else far too well. In this sequel of many years later, there are a few wistful flashbacks lasting only a few flickering moments, but otherwise the story is full-on and right-now. The characters portrayed in this film are the Swedish version of 'hicks in the sticks'. and there is more than a whiff of DELIVERANCE (1972) about the atmosphere. All those men going out in gangs with guns to murder elk! There is an unpleasant scene in the film where a female elk is standing twitching her ears and looking with curiosity at the humans, and she is then shot in the forehead and falls over dead. There are a few gruesome scenes which are even more unpleasant. Everyone in this film carries guns frequently, and you would think they had all run for Vice President with John McCain. Rolf Lassgard is marvellous as the central character. He exudes so much gravitas, it could sink a battleship. He is one of those Scandinavians who doesn't have to say anything, he just makes a slight expression in his rather dour face, and you get the message. One can imagine him communicating with Sarah Lund by microscopic twitches of his facial muscles, and no words need pass between them. This is such a nail-biter that unless you wrap your hands in towels you won't have any fingernails left. As to who killed the girl Elin, when, and how, and with which rifle, well that would be telling. But this film is about far more than a murder mystery. It is about searing family tensions, battered wives and children, hypocrisy, cover-ups, psychotic obsessions, criminal ingenuity, corrupt police, desperate danger, and throughout it all, there is the pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation of a small community which dare not face its own devils. There is also sadness and redemption. It's all there, you just have to be strong. You will be totally mesmerised by this drama, which is unrelenting, and is what is called 'character-driven' rather than 'plot-driven'. It is about people, some of whom you would definitely not want to meet. But Rolf Lassgard gets my vote for best cop of the year, and also for Mr. Nice Guy of the Frozen North.
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