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Pyromaniac (2016)

Pyromanen (original title)
A ruthless pyromaniac is on the loose in a southern village of Norway. They don't know he's not a stranger, but one of them. We follow him, the fire brigade chief's own son, spreading fear in secret.

Director:

Erik Skjoldbjærg
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5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trond Nilssen ... Dag (as Trond Hjort Nilssen)
Per Frisch Per Frisch ... Ingemann
Liv Bernhoft Osa Liv Bernhoft Osa ... Alma
Henrik Rafaelsen ... Lensmannen
Oddgeir Thune ... Alfred
Agnes Kittelsen ... Elsa
Gerdi Schjelderup Gerdi Schjelderup ... Johanna
Per Tofte Per Tofte ... Olav
Kari Onstad Winge Kari Onstad Winge ... Agnes
Kirsti Grundtvig Kirsti Grundtvig ... Postsjef (as Kirsti Grundvig)
Geir Myre Geir Myre ... Kaddeberg
Amund Hestsveen Amund Hestsveen ... Journalist
Patrik Stenseth Patrik Stenseth ... Tommy
Steffen Mulder Steffen Mulder ... Stig
Ane Kirkeng Jørgensen Ane Kirkeng Jørgensen ... Anne
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Storyline

A ruthless pyromaniac is on the loose in a southern village of Norway. They don't know he's not a stranger, but one of them. We follow him, the fire brigade chief's own son, spreading fear in secret.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on true story | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Norway

Language:

Norwegian

Release Date:

13 January 2017 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Pyromaniac See more »

Filming Locations:

Kristiansand, Norway

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

HORGALÅTEN
Performed by Kebnekajse
Trad. arr. Kebnekajse
(C)(P) Silence Records
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User Reviews

 
A Slow Burn Thriller
21 October 2016 | by paul_a_saltSee 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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