Starring Stellan Skarsgard and Sverre Anker Ousdal
Written by Erik Skjoldbjaerg and Nikolaj Frobenius
Directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg
Production year 1997
Running time 95 minutes
Scandinavia has dominated the thriller and detective story in recent years. From Stieg Larsson's phenomenally successful Millennium Trilogy to Wallander and The Killing the frozen landscapes and taciturn inhabitants of these northern European lands have proved rich sources for mystery and mayhem.
But 15 years ago, before the current wave was evident, an ingenious and low-key thriller from Norway showed the shape of things to come. It would be remade by Christopher Nolan starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams in 2002 just as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has been remade by David Fincher in 2011.
The story is of Engstrom and Vik, two policemen investigating a murder case in the Arctic Circle during the time of the midnight sun. Engstrom, a Swede, has a dark past that has caused him to move to Norway, his partner Vik is nearing retirement. When the investigation goes badly wrong the killer is able to blackmail one of the two cops and an intriguing cat and mouse game begins...
Stellan Skarsgaard gives a typically nuanced performance as the sleep-deprived Engstrom and the landscape makes a perfect backdrop to the action.