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Metalhead (2013)

Málmhaus (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 March 2015 (USA)
1:57 | Trailer
A girl is caught between the life that took her brother and her own inability to strike out on her own. In her grief, she finds solace in the dark music of Black Metal and dreams of becoming a rock star.


Ragnar Bragason


Ragnar Bragason
8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thora Bjorg Helga Thora Bjorg Helga ... Hera (as Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir)
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson ... Karl
Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir ... Droplaug
Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson ... Janus
Hannes Óli Ágústsson ... Knútur
Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson ... Einar
Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir ... Anna
Magnús Ólafsson Magnús Ólafsson ... Erlingur
Óskar Logi Ágústsson Óskar Logi Ágústsson ... Baldur
Diljá Valsdóttir Diljá Valsdóttir ... Hera (11 years old)
Mikael Emil Kaarber Mikael Emil Kaarber ... Knútur (11 years old)
Þórunn Arna Kristjánsdóttir ... Elsa
Urður Heimisdóttir Urður Heimisdóttir ... Elsa (11 years old)
Ole Erik Furu Ole Erik Furu ... Ingve
Hilmar Wollan III Hilmar Wollan III ... Oysten


On an August midday, somewhere in the remote vastness of rural Iceland, the carefree eleven-year-old, Hera, is unaware that a tragic accident will soon rob her of her last share of happiness. As a result, Hera will rebel against God with an unquenched rage, permeated with the vivid memory of her brother that pulsates in every corner of the house--and under those circumstances, alienated and suicidal--Hera will soon drag herself into a dreary, dead-end life. Years later--still blaming God for the injustice, and fending off any attempts at reconciliation from the local priest--the troubled teenager will embrace her brother's lifestyle, delving deeper and deeper into the unexplored and fascinating new music movement of Black Metal, finally finding a new purpose in life. However--with Hera still aching for closure, while the wounds of the past are always angry and wide-open--will she grasp in time that wallowing in grief can eat her up alive? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's the things we run from that hurt us the most.




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Icelandic | English | Norwegian

Release Date:

20 March 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Metalhead See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


€3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mystery Productions See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Hera: [singing at the fest] Flesh and Blood, to earth you shall return. Courage of a warrior, anything shall burn. The scorched earth, devouring our best. The scorched earth, always killing everything. My pain, it drains my soul. Plagued defeat. Black sands of Iden, as far as the eye can see. Lacerated all land, as far as the eye can see. There shall be no end...
See more »

Crazy Credits

(~1:39:54) Lukka the Cow - Gríma, Dog 1983 - Perla, Dog 1992 - Perla See more »


Me Against the World
Written by Lizzy Borden
Performed by Lizzy Borden
Courtesy of Metal Blade
See more »

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User Reviews

Metalhead is a film that is based on a universal theme, music.
27 July 2016 | by VikingbyheartSee all my reviews

Films about family dramas are already common in the movie theater, but the choice of the Icelandic writer-director Ragnar Bragason (known for Bjarnfreðarson - 2009) to put the heavy metal in the foreground was an innovation, so Málmhaus (original title) or Metalhead (English title) stands out compared to other similar narratives. The story shows how the loss of a child in a tragic accident can affect the life of a family and also of a whole small community in rural Iceland. The protagonist of the plot is Hera, played by Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir (known for Djúpið - The Deep - 2012), who witnessed the death of her older brother by a tractor when she was only 12 year old, in 1983. Traumatized, disillusioned with life and with her faith completely shaken, she decides to seek comfort in the heavy metal musical style that her brother loved so much.

After this initial introduction, Bragason transports us to the early 90s, addressing the main character already in adulthood. With gloomy and melancholy appearance, always wearing a leather jacket and black clothes, Hera is now quite adept of the black metal way of life. She isolated herself from the outside world and is disconnected from the small community in which she lives. Her only moments of balance seem to be next to her guitar, with which she risks to compose her own musics, or when she listens to her cassette tapes or reads magazines in her room.

The presence of Hera is disruptive to her parents. Unable to break free emotionally and psychologically from the memories of the tragedy, she lives committing petty crimes in self-destructive acts and causing confusion in the neighborhood. Her dressing style and her personality are also a painful form of her parents remember their dead child. This is reflected in the depression of her mother, Droplaug, played by Halldora Geirharðsdóttir (known for Englar alheimsins - Angels of the Universe - 2000 and Hross í oss - Of Horses and Men - 2013), and in the hidden suffering of her father, Karl, interpreted by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson (he acted in Englar alheimsins - Angels of the Universe - 2000, Myrin - Jar City - 2006, Hross í oss - Of Horses and Men - 2013 and Everest - 2015). Thus, each one experiences the grief and the pain in their own way, but it is clear that that accident compromised the family's harmony.

With a peculiar intimate view of heavy metal and black metal movements, Bragason does in Metalhead a production with quite personal characteristics, printing throughout the script references carefully cited and associated with the soundtrack. It is through music that the director expresses and exposes the psychological and emotional state of the protagonist, from her feelings to her internal conflicts. Fans of the genre, besides the recognition of the songs, will delight in with Victim of Changes (Judas Priest), Heartless World (Teaze), Run For Your Life (Riot), Strange Wings (Savatage), Me Against the World (Lizzy Borden), Am I Evil? (Diamond Head), Symphony of Destruction (Megadeth), Í Helli Loka (Sólstafir) and Svarthamar (Pétur Ben & Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir - Málmhaus).

The symbolism is present throughout the film. The clothes, the music, the melancholy or obscurity, the corpse paint (face paint in black and white), death, religion, in scenarios such as the church or the cemetery, in the bitter cold of winter, and even in Norwegian characters, a reference to Øystein Aarseth (Euronymous) and Per Yngve Ohlin (Dead), founding members of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, land that created the subculture of the Norwegian black metal. Some documentaries address and depict this time, as Den Svarte Alvor - The Black Seriousness (1994), Satan Rir Media - Satan Rides the Media (1998), Once Upon a Time in Norway (2007) and Until the Light Takes Us (2008).

Clinging to period details is another strong point of the film, giving it a certain nostalgia of the 80s and 90s. We have the record player and vinyl records, cassette tapes and walkman, household appliances, such as microwaves, cathode ray tube TV and VHS video tapes and cars, all faithfully depicting the period in question. The beautiful shots of Iceland and the moments of black humor soften the delicate issue addressed in the narrative, contrasting with the inner desolation of the protagonist. The performance of Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir is one of the highlights of the movie, giving veracity to the story of the main character.

Metalhead is a film that is based on a universal theme, music, employing it to show how people deal with pain, loss and suffering. The story shows the search for an identity and for oneself, an attempt to find meaning for life that goes beyond music.

Originally posted in: https://vikingbyheart.blogspot.com.br

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