a machete with a half-moon cut out of it. Some, like the wannabe American Swedish movie BLOOD RUNS COLD (2011), make some good attempts and ultimately fail, but once in a while something comes along that completely shakes the foundation of my little Anti-SOV belief system.
Two average schmoes who are working for the "No Shit" crime-scene cleaning service find themselves sopping up blood and bits in a remote, dilapidated house in the woods. Well, one of them, Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) is cleaning. The other, Elvis (Erlend Nervold), is retching in a bucket. We are never told what exactly their orders are, but we find out that they are not only cleaning up the mess, but are trying to find parts of another person. While digging around the house and unearthing bones, they discover a short tunnel leading to underground rooms. In-spite of Leo's protests that they were told not to enter, Elvis breaks into the cellar and finds what appears to be some sort of makeshift lab with bizarre medical books, weird illustrations, strange machinery, a bathtub filled with milky water and a tape recorder. Leo, trying to maintain a level head and a short leash on his impetuous and vomitous friend, tells Elvis not to touch anything, but of course Elvis just has to touch things and that's when things start spiraling downward.
Loosely based on Norwegian mythology, Nordaas has crafted a smart, stylish little film with minimal resources and a talented cast and crew. The obligatory CG effects are very effective and used only in a few important places where mechanical effects would be far too labor intensive for such a small production. Nordaas wisely avoids the trap that many amateur movie makers fall into and thankfully at no point do we have to suffer through anything as irritating as CG breath effects. The last time I was blown away by a SOV movie was the Turkish thriller DRAGON TRAP (2010) and the "best of breed" Lovecraft opus WHISPERER IN DARKNESS (2011). This is a completely different animal compared to those two, but caught me off guard in a similar kind of way. Even in the first few minutes of the film, I did not expect it to be such a slow-burn, captivating actor's movie (and writer's movie and director's movie) that just so happens to be shot on video. Granted it's probably not saying much, since I not a big fan of modern, remake/plagerism-intensive horror filmmaking, but so far this is a strong contender for Best Horror Movie of 2012 in our annual recap.