Welcome aboard the bus of blood, where all of the damned souls have a tale to tell.
It’s an anthology of horror. You’ll find tales of rural Viking sacrifices, crazy brothers with a taste for violence, writers telling stories of murder and mayhem, a rich man torturing his “trusted” associates, children shunned by their town for being different, and an office full of costumed workers who let their animal sides out. All of the central figures are seen riding the same bus towards an unknown and no doubt unpleasant destination.
When I heard “Norwegian Horror,” I assumed this show would just be people dealing with privatized medicine and going back to work two weeks after having a baby. Instead, I was surprised that there’s very little in the series that really depends on the culture of the setting. The closest thing was that at one point there is a “Viking” burial site providing the impetus for the story, which in the US would probably be the “Ancient Native American” burial site, but that’s minor. The stories are fairly universal and all decently compelling.
I’d say that my favorite one is definitely “Lab Rats,” which depicts a businessman who discovers that his new prototype has gone missing during his victory dinner, leading him to forcibly try to torture everyone who might have it (including his wife). It not only perfectly encapsulates the similarities between a successful CEO and a sociopathic villain, but also doesn’t really rely on a twist ending like most horror television episodes. The truth is just slowly revealed logically. It helps that all of the characters are forced to interact under a horrifying circumstance.
The performances and the premises are all pretty solid. Some of them might seem similar to older episodes of other horror films and anthology shows, but they all have something fun to add to the narratives. Also, the dubbing isn’t particularly bad, so if you don’t like reading horror dialogue, you can get by with it.
Honestly, it’s a pretty solid horror series, a little more serious than Tales from the Crypt, but less technology focused than Black Mirror. Give it a try.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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