🇳🇴 BLOODRIDE 🇳🇴
BLOODRIDE (2020) is a Norwegian horror anthology series on Netflix internationally. 6 x 27-32 mins. 15 Cert U.K. Available with subtitles and dubbing.
“In this deliciously macabre horror anthology series, doomed passengers tell their stories aboard a spectral bus head toward an unknown destination.”
Directors: Geir Henning Hopland* & Atle Knudsen
Writers: Kjetil Indregard & Atle Knudsen
Music: Sindre Hotvedt
Normally these reviews have one cast list but since this is an anthology I have split the cast lists and reviews into specific episodes.
Before the start of each story, the focus fixes onto the character sitting on the bus to whom the story relates. I strongly suggest that you watch these episodes in order.
Geir Henning Hopland, who directed four of the six episodes, was the primary director of another engaging Netflix series from Norway, Lilyhammer as well as 7 episodes of The Lawyer (Advokaten) on Walter Presents All4 U.K.
Episode 1: Ultimate Sacrifice
“City dweller Molly has difficulty adjusting to a new, downsized life in the country – until she learns why her neighbours are so attached to their pets.”
Ine Marie Wilmann as Molly
Björn Birch as Herr Kloppen
Dag Håvard Engebråten as Journalist
Sophia Kausal as Butikdame
Hilde Olausson as Fru Kloppen
Emma Spetalen Magnusson as Katja
Bjørnar Teigen as Leon
Geir Henning Hopland
The first point to make with this story is that it is a horror and there are pets…
The introduction to the story is not an unusual one, in that a family move to a new house, out in the sticks where things are a little peculiar. What makes a change is that there is no stroppy hormonal teenaged daughter who hates her new home and village. Instead, it is the adult, the mother, the wife who does not want to be there despite the clear necessity. A woman driven by a desire for prestige and possibly incapable of love.
I loved the link to Viking heritage and sacrifice. The villagers are nicely off-kilter in the nicest possible way. Much may appear to be formulaic in this story, but it isn’t. The end is fun and a great nod (I assume) to James Bond.
Episode 2: Three Sick Brothers
“After three years in a psychiatric hospital, Erik drives to his family’s cabin with his brothers but trouble starts when they pick up a hitchhiker.”
Erik Erland Vikagen as Erik
Benjamin Helstad as Otto
Harald Rosenstrøm as Georg
Mette Spjelkavik Enoksen as Monika
Ingrid Jørgensen Dragland as Erik’s Mother
Catharina Vu as Petrol Station Assistant
This is just the sort of horror story I enjoy, where there’s something off from the very start. All performances are great in this, especially the 3 brothers, Erik (recently out of a 3-year-stint at a mental health facility), Otto (who is a bundle of energy and fun and who doesn’t understand “inside voice”) and Georg (the handsome, controlling one).
There is bloody violence in this episode and one part made me jump. From the very start of the story, the tension is created that something is going to go badly wrong. I mean, they go off on a trip to a cabin in the woods… but this brings something new to the table, I think.
Episode 3: Bad Writer
“The privileged Olivia eagerly embraces her new writing class but her instructor and an awkward fellow student soon have her questioning reality.”
Dagny Backer Johnsen as Olivia
Synnøve Macody Lund as a writer
Henrik Rafaelsen as Alex
Simen Bistad as Marcus
Nami Kitagawa Aam as Isabel
Ingrid Tykhelle Kayser as Sarah
Regina Tucker as Cynthia
Geir Henning Hopland
Bad Writer is a mind***k! This story plays around with the idea of writers creating characters and that a character should hit rock bottom before they can be saved by the writer. It also delves into the idea that actions that occur in fiction do not necessarily mirror what is acceptable (or even possible) in reality. Finally, that in reality actions have real consequences which cannot be undone by a few clicks on a keyboard.
Really good performances again in this twist and twist and then twist again storyline. Expect to question what is real.
Episode 4: Lab Rats
“A pharmaceutical industry titan humiliates dinner guests – including his wife – when he discovers that one of them has stolen a valuable prototype.”
Stig R. Amdam as Edmund Bråthen
Anna Bachelor-Wiig as Iselin
Pia Borgli as Margrethe
Kingsford Siayor as Abdi
Trond Teigen as Philip
Isabel Beth Toming as Oda
Geir Henning Hopland
Another story with twists. The titan in question is already oblivious as to the pain he causes others who work with him. He does not really care about those who do, or his wife. He treats them much like the rats in the lab, expecting and used to being forgiven because of the power he wields. He has no moral compass. This is a story of revenge served cold and punishment for his misdeeds.
Not my favourite story of this anthology but carried but the ensemble cast with Trond Teigen being outstanding.
Episode 5: The Old School
“Idealistic teacher Sanna moves to a country school reopening after 40 years, where a mysterious tragedy reaches out to her from beyond the grave.”
Ellen Bendu as Sanna
Elias Er-Rachidi as Odd
Molly Gavin as Sissel
Jasmin Haugen as Unni
Torfinn Nag as Jäger
Frode Winther as Rektor Ogland
Ella Indregard Yttri as Mari
Ingrid Anne Yttri as Trine
Ingunn Øien as Agda
This is the story that is most traditionally “horror”. We have an old building with a past, children (and we all know in horror these will either be prey or predators in some way). This story has a decent jump scare (well it made me jump) and a suitably nasty aspect. The Devil plays a part in this. The downside of only half-an-hour is to have enough time to build character, story, suspense and a true sense of jeopardy… it doesn’t quite work here. Great direction, camerawork and music score though.
Episode 6: The Elephant in the Room
“At their wild holiday office party, two new employees hear strange rumours and try to solve the mystery of a coworker’s grisly plunge from the roof.”
Karl Vidar Lende as Paul
Rebekka Jynge as Kristin
Silje Storstein as Helene
Nader Khademi as William
Cecilie Mosli as Ingelin
Ola Otnes as Sjefen
Morten Borgersen as Grisen
Kjersti Botn Sandal as Hilda
Linn Bjørnvik Grøder as William’s Wife
Marianne Jonger as Martha
Geir Henning Hopland
This is a summer office party with a difference. Everyone is wearing animal costumes some of which seem to reflect who they are. The two new employees are mice, and like all great mice detectives, they realise something is wrong with the “accident” that occurred the month before. This is a decent play on the phrase “the elephant in the room”. Quite gory in parts and reasonably good fun.
I am a BIG fan of horror so this show was immediately appealing. My overall verdict is that for fans of horror (and those who don’t mind dipping their toes into the genre) this is an anthology worth watching. Some of the stories work better than others but they are all well-acted and well-filmed. The music is great and very atmospheric. Each episode is no longer than half-an-hour and with just 6 episodes this is no great commitment and is generally an easy binge-watch.
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