Valley of Shadows (2017): Drama / Horror / Mystery

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After his dog ran away, a little boy’s quest to the unknown leads him to a forest where urban legends and reality blend into one.

The obvious achievement is Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen’s cinematography. And by that, I mean Oskar-level cinematography. Young Adam Ekeli plays the part exactly as he should be and for that, other than his skills, Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s directing is to praise. The amazing Zbigniew Preisner’s music adds the final touch with his mesmerising and atmospheric composition. The very slow-paced rhythm and the lack of action should not put you off. Valley of Shadows is the definition of a hero’s journey told in a Scandinavian (Nordic) way. 

I stumbled upon the film completely by accident and I am so glad I did. The narrative is extremely restricted, making you experience the aforementioned journey through the kid’s eyes alone. Travel back to that age and try to remember how you perceived reality when you were little. Then, and only then, come back and interpret the events the way you see fit. I repeat, do not expect action. Pretend you are that kid having been lost in that eerie, yet dazzling forest, knowing nothing about conscious or unconscious elucidations.

Stay safe!

Thelma (2017): Drama / Fantasy / Horror

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Slow burn, Scandinavian “Carrie” will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story unfolds in baby steps creating the viewer a concoction of emotions as it covers a variety of themes such as coming of age, coming out, domestic, self-discovery, revenge, religion, science, psychogenic abilities, redemption… And all that wrapped in a cinematic experience, out of the ordinary, mainstream filmmaking. A psychological/paranormal drama that is tightrope walking between reality and fantasy, leading to a resolution that delivers and gives justice to the journey’s setup and confrontation.