A ruthless pyromaniac is on the loose in a southern village of Norway. They don't know he's no stranger, but one of them. We follow him. The son of the fire brigade chief's own son, in secret spreading fear.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dag (as Trond Hjort Nilssen)
Per Frisch ...
Ingemann
Liv Bernhoft Osa ...
Alma
...
Lensmann Johansen
Oddgeir Thune ...
Alfred
...
Elsa
Gerdi Schjelderup ...
Johanna
Per Tofte ...
Olav
Kari Onstad Winge ...
Agnes
Kirsti Grundtvig ...
Postsjef (as Kirsti Grundvig)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sondre Berget ...
Torstein
Enok Enoksen ...
Politimann
Jan ø. Fjeldal ...
Politibetjent (as Jan Fjeldal)
Torgeir Fonnlid ...
Sint Mann
Ronnie Hakkim ...
Politibetjent
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Storyline

A ruthless pyromaniac is on the loose in a southern village of Norway. They don't know he's no stranger, but one of them. We follow him. The son of the fire brigade chief's own son, in secret spreading fear.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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In the darkness of a peaceful village, a pyromaniac ignites his first fire. As more fires break out, the society panics. An inferno lurks under the surface as a local policeman uncovers the unthinkable truth: the pyromaniac is the village fireman.

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Drama

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Release Date:

13 January 2017 (Estonia)  »

Also Known As:

Padegejas  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

SÅ KOM VÅREN TIL TARINA
Performed by Per Gunnar Jensen
Music & lyrics by Per Gunnar Jensen
(C)(P) Arne Bendiksen Records AS
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User Reviews

 
A Slow Burn Thriller
21 October 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Pyromaniac follows a young man as he quietly wreaks havoc in his small Norwegian town. We spend the entire film with Ingemann, observing his life and his destructive habits. However, Ingemann's motivations are enigmatic. We are left to reach our own conclusions as to why Ingemann enjoys his incendiary hobby.

We are given an insight into the character's frustration. He is the fireman's son but receives very little attention in the community. His school friends no longer engage with him and most of the adults struggle to remember his name. Few opportunities to interact are presented in the sparsely populated setting. But when a fire breaks out the community is drawn together. A crowd quickly gathers and everyone participates in extinguishing the fire and rescuing as much of the victims property as possible. Crucially Ingremann himself transforms. He becomes competent and confident as undertakes his duties. Ingremann seems to show genuine compassion for the victims of his predilection.

Actor Per Frisch delivers a wonderfully magnetic performance as Ingremann, managing to embody the awkwardness of the character as well as the menace. As his fires grow in scope he becomes more bold and frightening to behold, all the while maintaining pathos.

The fires in the film are alternately terrifying and incidental. Director Erik Skjoldbjærg films ignition like an action movie utilising slow motion and rich sound design to make the audience feel the destructive power. Yet often the resulting fire is framed in the background of scenes, recalling Tarkovsky's set piece barn fire in The Sacrifice. There is of course one notable exception in which an elderly couple escape the house, a scene that is as tense as it is impressive.

The effect is that the fire loses its dramatic allure once it has been lit and any civilians have safely evacuated. The sense of urgency and danger gives way to one of melancholia. The fire becomes a passive devourer that roars in the distance and seems unaffected by the communities attempts to extinguish it.

One of the more striking engaging aspects of the film is Ingremann's relationship with his mother. Quiet scenes of domesticity establish the gentle fondness between the two characters which becomes heart-breaking as Ingremann's actions strike closer and closer to home. Some of the most emotional scenes of the film come from this relationship.

Not everyone will be engaged by Pyromaniac. The pace is slow, the characters are understated and the sense of peril is deliberately undercut with dark humour. However for those able to appreciate such things, the film is a frightening and arresting experience.


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