CADAVER aka Kadaver (2020) is a new Norwegian Drama Horror Thriller Film and a Netflix Original. 1hr 26m. 15 Cert U.K. Available with subtitles.
Gitte Witt as Leonora
Thomas Gullestad as Jacob
Thorbjørn Harr as Mathias
Maria Grazia Di Meo as Kathrine
Gjermund Gjesme as Jens
Tuva Olivia Jemman as Alice
Jonatan Rodriguez as David
Kingsford Siayor as Lars
Director: Jarand Herdal
Cinematographer: Jallo Farber
Writer: Jarand Herdal
“In the starving aftermath of a nuclear disaster, a family of three attends a charitable event at a hotel, which takes a dark turn when people start to disappear.”
I really enjoyed parts of this film. Overall though the story was somewhat unsatisfying. It suffers from pacing issues and it does feel like a trudge through the wet sand of story at times.
A bit longer spent establishing the context and even more importantly getting the 3 main characters (mother, father, child) and their dynamics more established, so there is more connection to them. More of the thought processes being shown onscreen would have been great.
It’s quite clear, even before they get to the “performance” at the hotel that things are just well… wrong. The overall messages are well expressed, ironically perhaps by the obviously evil antagonist. That to “feel” is a vital part of human nature but also “family”. Questions of how people react in times of grief and trauma, how some will lose their moral compass in order to survive, are central.
The film suffers I think from not being quite horror-y enough but the atmosphere itself is really well created and there’s a distinctly Edgar Allan Poe vibe. The ending was slightly anticlimactic but the hotel being shown as almost heavenly compared to reality was a striking image.
I watched Cadaver on a rainy day, and for a rainy day’s viewing it was worth the watch. It does have some stunning imagery and a great atmosphere, but leaves one with a bit of a “so is that it?” at the end.
I really loved the art design, sets, cinematography and the sound design. The varied colour palettes worked really well to differentiate different areas of the hotel and also the outside versus inside world.
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