This Danish thriller unravels nice and easy, revealing little bits of information along the way so the audience can gradually understand the situation our two main characters are in. As the film opens, Simon, a divorced cop, is breaking into a house with his young son, Louie. It’s supposed to be a nice little vacation getaway for the two and Simon reassures Louie that the whole thing is his mother’s idea. The two then settle into this abandoned countryside house, their relationship obviously very solid and loving. Nothing to worry about here…except for that whole breaking into the house thing. But just as soon as we’ve comfortable bonded with father and son, we’re shown Simon to be plagued by awful nightmares and, soon, hallucinations. We also soon discover that this is no vacation, but a kidnapping, unbeknownst to Louie. The film then takes on a tension as we see Simon struggling with the idea that he will eventually lose his son forever once he is inevitably caught and that tension swells as he begins to lose his grip on the situation…and his sanity. The nightmares and hallucinations grow worse and it makes one suspect that there may be ghosts present.
I loved the first half of this film. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by this super tight, carefully orchestrated thriller with just the right amount of creepy atmosphere so as not to distract from the two lead characters who are also a joy to watch. But there is a horror element here that I feel never really gels with the rest of the movie and that element comes from Louie’s hallucinations…or whatever…still could be ghosts…I dunno. At first, these images work out as they’re subtle and they help to accent the creepiness of the dark, lonely countryside, but as the film progresses and you become more engrossed with the situation at hand, Louie’s images become a nuisance and you want to be done with them so you can get back to the real story. And unfortunately these images bring about the film’s end result and you’ll either be confused or just won’t care. Either way, you’ll feel cheated of a true ending to this otherwise excellent film.
Still worth seeing, however, if you love quiet, creepy thrillers. Just don’t expect it to go anywhere because it really doesn’t and with a film that starts out as solid as this one does, that’s a cinematic shame.