The year 1695. A young maiden by the name Johanne Nilsdotter is accused of witchcraft. Her persecutors end her life in the bottomless pits of the remote Djupkista waters in the Dunderland ...
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The year 1695. A young maiden by the name Johanne Nilsdotter is accused of witchcraft. Her persecutors end her life in the bottomless pits of the remote Djupkista waters in the Dunderland valley. In the years to follow, numerous horrendous events and tragedies strike the valley. More than three century's later, the young, aspiring theater director Laura arrives in the Dunderland valley. Together with an ensemble of Norways premier actors she will put up a play on the witch-processes. Inspired by true events. Written by
Good intentions, but seriously amateurish writing and instruction
Pretty photography isn't enough to make a film. However the film starts promising with grand winter landscapes in the North. This is immediately ruined by a narrative voice, which sounds theatrical and stupid in itself, but when you hear what he is saying it's so artificial and badly written it's difficult to comprehend.
It's a low budget production, still 1,5 million dollars was spent. But that's not the reason for th film's problems. They even got almost the same mount as "Beasts of the Southern wild". Some fine, well known and usually good actors to participate, but you soon see they struggle with the written manuscript. It's simply talentless writing. Also the directors struggles in the instruction of the actors. Maybe the duo Nils J. Nesse and Finn-Erik Rognan should go a couple of rounds with themselves. It's not always easy to go from talented short film makers with all hands on all that's happening to a full time feature. They have Jon talent, but this isn't good enough, I am afraid. Well, full time... This clocks in on 78 minutes with ending credits, which is long enough.
The actors come to Dunderlandsdalen, a very remote place to rehearse a play about a tragic event happening hundreds of years ago. The instructor, Laura, has some insane ideas, finding it hard to get them approved by the actors, obviously enough. A great plot as a start, but it soon goes downhill.
Dunderlandsdalen is a real valley, and so is the hotel used here. It's a cold, unforgiving landscape with lots of snow and nature. So also the setting is good. Such a pity this community didn't get a real film to promote this place, and instead got this pile. But as you expect. This project doesn't function at all, and reminds me of recently seen "Seven below" which is equally bad. Like some kind of bad "Ten little Indians"/"And then there were none" they disappear one after one.
What's worst in the manuscript is some very misplaced swearing and strange words which is spoken in a way that it's obvious that the actors aren't comfortable in even using the words. The names chosen are also very awkward in the same way. You know when you hear someone telling a name, and you instantly feel that it sounds wrong, and artificial. They at not even able to make actors run or walk in natural movements.
When amateur actors are in action it's even worse. Still there's so much talent here that a project like this should succeed. But then again, It's important that you find the right people in the right place to make a successful film.
So good photography, good actors, good setting and an OK plot is not making a movie, when manuscript and instruction fails. There's more lacking here too, but keep away except if you're after this kind of stuff for amusement.
I hope for the filmmakers to take a long chat and be open for using forces from the great Norwegian film industry to have better luck with the next project. This is not a horror-film, this is a horrible film!
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