This Swedish film tells the story of a couple chased across the snow by killers.
David (Anastasios Soulis) and Nadja (Nanna Blondell) are a married couple whose relationship has been souring for months. When Nadja discovers she’s pregnant, Nadja confides in their neighbor, Tomas (Thomas Hanzon), that they’ve been having problems. Ultimately, the pair decide to take a romantic ski vacation to try and rekindle their spark. They end up in a place called Bear Valley, where the locals don’t exactly take to them, seemingly due to their interracial marriage. Nadja even calls out a pair of locals who damage their vehicle. However, they soon see a red dot appear on their tent. While they don’t immediately know what it is, their dog is soon killed and they discover that someone out there is trying to hunt them down. The two are desperate to survive, but it turns out that there may be more to the story than it originally seemed.
This movie is going to require a spoiler discussion, so here’s the spoiler-free review: This movie is so close to being really good. The parts with the couple being hunted are very intense and, since almost anyone they meet is a stranger, filled with suspicions and twists. Since this isn’t like having a slasher stalk you, the real terror comes from the fact that the shot can come from almost anywhere at any time. It’s handled well within the film.
The performances are all pretty solid, particularly Nanna Blondell, who plays Nadja as much more devious and ruthless than you would originally suspect. It adds a couple of layers to the film as it builds towards a fairly major climax which reveals more about Nadja and David than you’d expect from this kind of movie. The ending does require you to pay attention in order to make sense, but it works pretty well if you pay attention.
Overall, it’s a decent film, although I’ll warn you that the ending might leave you a little upset.
So, it’s revealed that David and Nadja, right after getting engaged, were driving in the car when Nadja decided to give David a handjob (or possibly the beginnings of road head). While distracted, David ran over a small child, who turns out to be Tomas’s son. Nadja wanted to stop, but David decided to just keep driving. Tomas then stalked them for months, moved in next to them, befriended them, recommended the trip to David, had his brother-in-law plan their trip, and planned to force David to drill into Nadja’s stomach to kill their baby. Nadja manages to escape, but when she returns to rescue him, she’s shot dead by Tomas’s wife. They leave David to suffer with his loss, with David saying “I understand now.”
This ending pisses me off a bit, because it almost tries to justify the vengeance that Tomas inflicted on them, despite the fact that it was overly complicated and batshit crazy. He could easily have taken his revenge while they were living next to them, but instead waits until they’re pregnant, trying to equate aborting the pregnancy to child murder. The problem is that those things are in no way equal for the parents. Nadja losing a baby that they don’t really seem to have planned on is not the same as having two strangers murder your child that you loved, named, and have years of memories with. Even at the end, when they murder Nadja, that’s still not the same and it never will be. I dunno, just left a sour taste in my mouth.
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