13 July 2010

Valhalla Rising

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by: Roy Jacobsen & Nicolas Winding Refn
Full credits at IMDb

Valhalla Rising is set at first on “the fringes of the earth,” on fog-veiled hills and smoke-shrouded seas that suggest a planet only half-formed—just like the civilization taking shape upon its surface. It’s 1000 CE and Viking heathens, when not fleeing as far as Scottish moors from the approaching “followers of the White Christ,” pit their kept-humans against each other for sport, animal-men like the mute One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen) who brutally beat each other with deafening thuds and revolting squishes. Valhalla’s horrifyingly elemental, all wind, iron, wood and blood; with minimal dialogue and an icy palette, Refn exploits a post-apocalyptic aesthetic to evoke pre-civilization, blurring the line between culture’s beginning and end.

Indeed: after One Eye slaughters his slave-drivers and pals up with a tween (Maarten Stevenson) to roam the awful heaths, Valhalla recalls The Road, just set 1000 years earlier…oh, and with Michael Myers as its hero and Jesus Freaks as the bad guys.

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