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811 AD, a family, isolated in their home, deep in the woods a few days travel from Birka. They are poor. The hunting and fishing has been bad for some time, and the father, Joar, takes the desperate measure of going on a Viking raid. Joar does not return for a long time, and the family starts to fear he never will. Runa, the oldest daughter, takes over her father's chores in his absence. She misses him dearly and nourishes a tender hope that he, once again, will return to them. But in her heart somehow she knows the suffering of the family has just begun. There is something in the air, something in the water, the wind and in the soil. Runa is becoming aware of something vile, something dangerous out in the forest. One day when she is out hunting she finds a bleeding man, a warrior, almost unconscious. She brings him inside and the family tends to his wounds. As he heals, she realizes he is sent to protect the family from an approaching evil. And he brings news of her father.
The story takes place in 810 and Christianity was very rare in the north. The use of Thor's hammer as a pendant is used after the the north was Christianized around year 1100 and is believed to have been used by believers of asatru to show their beliefs. Similar to how many Christian's use the cross today. See more »
As I saw this film, I could not help myself thinking how Beautiful and exciting it was.
Directed by Swedish filmmaker Rasmus Tirzitis and written by Faravid af Ugglas and Rasmus The Huntress is a low/mid-budget film, with US distribution by ITN Distribution and also distribution in many other countries.
According to IMDB it will have its major release in October. I saw the film on a preview screener for the distribution company I am working for. Sadly, my company did not end up distributing the film, but it does not stop me from writing a Review!
As a descendant from Sweden I always love to see Nordic films and TV-series.
Historically the costumes, Weapons, Buildings and the Place this film has been shot are spot on! This even though all in the film speak English, the fact that it's all shot in Sweden near the famous Viking town Birka of course has something to do with the accuracy.
This film is made by people who know their Vikings. Not only as the fighters with long beards but also as the human beings living in those times. All were actually not Vikings as that was the name of the ones plundering.
The genre of the film is a bit blurry and it took me a while to understand that I just had to try not categorizing it only as one thing. It's both Thriller, Drama and Horror. All during the times of the Vikings.
This film primary focus on Runa (Moa Enqvist Stefansdotter), her mom Magnhild (Yohanna Idah), her grandfather Ragnvald (Ralf Beck) and her younger sister Bothild (Viva Österwall Lyngbrant) who are waiting (forever, as it seems) for the father of the family Joar (Peter Mörlin). The family fear Joar will never return. Runa more and more takes the role of the father but not without struggles with Magnhild who becomes more and more desperate. So far, the film is about Drama and besides the wonderful intro and the dark dreams of Runa the focus is on the life of the family. But rest a sure it's never boring - something dark is about to enter their lives.
The acting in the family is outstanding! All four have their individual strengths. Moa is portraying Runa extremely well, she looks the part 100 % as she rides, shoots her bow, struggles with her mom, long for her father and becoming a woman! She will for sure win awards for this role at film festivals! Mark my word. But she is not alone. The role as the mother, played by Yohanna Idah, is both written with great care but also portrayed with such passion and pain. Yohanna is equally sad, tough, sexy and desperate. Later on, the film, as things develop, Magnhild also become something else and evolve in a way that only the best of actors can portray. Ralf Beck, as the Grandfather and Viva Österwall Lyngbrant as Bothild both are very present and they really capture different characters that are vulnerable, one in the end of his life and the other in the beginning. As the "sh** hits the fan" so to speak, you really feel with these two and I am blown away by their performances. Joar is portrayed with such elegant carefulness and to play an PTSD Viking warrior is not an easy task but Peter Mörlin succeed with a great outcome!
When, Torulf (Andreas Rylander), a survivor among the Vikings, return, injured and hunted by some evil they awoke, something new happens within the family. Runa seems in love, Ragnvald finds a friend. Torulf becomes both a reminder of Joar and also a catalyst in the story. He brings news that Joar might live but also about a great danger. Andreas Rylander must have been born a Viking as he easy can act as one with a masterful precision. Don't be surprised if you see Andreas in roles in Hollywood and in the series Vikings. He should get tons of roles as warriors!
I will not like to spoil more of the story but just want you all to know that I really enjoyed the acting of every single one in this film.
The Music is just wonderful and have great depth. Made by seasoned composer Simon Kölle and additional Music by a man with the name of Per Runberg. I had to google Per, and he seem to be a big name in the Swedish folk Music scene. The match seems to be made in Valhalla (pun intended) as the Music many times exceeds Wardruna and other Viking bands. It's both classical film Music and period Music mixed with great care. The score must have cost half the budget of the film as it would fit in any bigger Hollywood production with ease. Also, a shout out to the sound of the film which I really enjoy, and much comes down to just superb mixing!
One more thing about the music, without spoiling, it's actually a song that's very important for the story and I must say I am especially fond of how it is melted into the music score in sometimes just hints and other times obvious ways. Stunning!
CGI and other effects are made with great care and the overall all feel is that the film manages to accurately convey some of the culture of Vikings of the time.
The editing must be mentioned a little bit extra as it was done by the director himself (Rasmus Tirzitis) and the editing are really done with precision and with a good feel for the story. Some is of course due to the great script, but I believe it's pretty obvious that the tempo of the film is created in directing and editing the film wonderfully.
If I should say anything that I believed could be better with this film, it must be that I would have loved to see more of the world. But The Huntress truly speaks to me and the way it's both simple and genuine makes me love it!
For all you horror and action fans out there, it's horror and action in the film too but it's not a pure horror flick. It's more than that. I go so far to say it's the best Viking film in years. With the beauty of Valhalla Rising, the nerve in the later part of the 13th warrior and if the TV-series Viking did not have stiff acting you get an idea what The Huntress - Rune of the Dead brings to the table.
Best of luck to this film and all the crew!
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