🇳🇴 VIKING WOLF 🇳🇴
Viking Wolf (2022) is a Norwegian horror/thriller feature film that runs for 1 hour and 37 minutes. Rated 15 U.K. In Norwegian with English subtitles and also available dubbed.
“Thale (17) has just moved with her parents to a small town after her mother has a new job in the local police. After a student is killed brutally at a party Thale attends, she becomes a key witness. Was the killer an animal? A wolf?” IMDb
Liv Mjönes (Stockholm Requiem, Midsommar, The Lawyer)
Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne (Utoya – July 22, Furia, Royalteen)
Arthur Hakalahti (The King’s Choice, Home for Christmas)
Sjur Vatne Brean (Atlantic Crossing)
Vidar Magnussen (Lilyhammer, Norsemen, Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes)
Kasper Antonsen (Lilyhammer, Troll, Ragnarok)
Marius Lien (The 12th Man, Amundsen, 22. juli, Outlier, Welcome to Utmark, Beforeigners)
Øyvind Brandtzæg (22. juli, Beforeigners)
Ívar Örn Sverrisson (Beforeigners)
Writers: Espen Aukan (Troll) Stig Svendsen
Director: Stig Svendsen
Composers: Bjørnar Johnsen, Kjetil Schander Luhr
Cinematographer: Trond Tønder
Makeup: Siw Jærbyn, Jim Udenberg
Costume Designer: Camilla Olai Lindblom
The horror film playing on the TV in the first scene is “Cold Prey” (2006) directed by Roar Uthaug (Troll).
Portions of the dialogue scene in the morgue are from Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws”.
I love a good horror film and, casting my mind back the first werewolf horror I ever watched was a Hammer Horror with no other than Oliver Reed as the man who morphed into a vicious wolf every full moon. Since then I’ve watched a fair few films and series involving these mythical beasts from American Werewolf in London, to Twilight (please don’t judge), True Blood, an episode of Love, Death + Robots to Dog Soldiers. I’m always on the lookout for something a bit different that will make me scared (in a good way) so I was looking forward to watching Viking Wolf even though reviews weren’t exactly positive in the main.
With my “Let’s pretend I’m a 15-year-old” eyes in and brain switched on I pressed play and settled down to be frightened, jump, maybe look through my fingers and squeal a bit.
I was aware before starting that this is a film with a 15 age rating rather than an 18 and I tried to take that into account. I watch a LOT of films and shows that are rated 15 so I think I have a pretty good idea of what I can and should expect from them (looking at you All of Us Are Dead, Sweet Home, Athena, My Name etc.) For me, this film can only have just missed out on a 12A because of the slightly more graphic scenes, injury details and maybe the threat level. I’ve watched films and shows rated 15 that push the limit towards an 18 and this isn’t one of them.
The opening few scenes were quite good, I enjoyed the introduction although it is very much the sort of start you would expect. The initial attack was itself promising and reasonably scary; it just felt that it ended quite quickly.
This is a film that differs from pacing issues and a second act that is quite dull. It didn’t feel as if the tension was gradually and irrevocably increasing. This section drifted around quite a bit except for people doing rather idiotic things in the forest (so many dumb people doing dumb things in many horror films). The attack in this section was reasonable but somehow lacked a proper sense of threat and jeopardy. I did jump though, once. The way the victim was dismissed in an off-hand manner didn’t sit right with me. There was an issue throughout except with the initial victim of the reactions being somewhat muted.
This film has a decent section involving a bus much nearer the end. This was built up well and the execution was fairly good but here I think it could have been longer and even more intense. The payoff of this scene was good enough but felt like it came far too late in the day.
And then we have the final scenes. I have to admit that I laughed at one part in a hospital (or was it the vets?) — it was the heart monitor’s fault, honestly — and I am equally sure that I was not supposed to be doing that. What was clearly meant to be a sad, poignant scene had me laughing out loud.
The acting in this is generally decent. I appreciated the female lead roles but would have preferred less stereotypical teens. I wasn’t totally sold however on the music and the way it was used. I very much liked the use of good old-fashioned practical effects (I think more blood gags would have added to it) but the CGI was a bit disappointing. I appreciated the homages but overall it came over as being derivative. There are some lovely locations in this, Norway is an attractive country.
Overall then, as a big fan of horror, I was disappointed with Viking Wolf. It seems like a film with unfulfilled potential. It wasn’t very scary, parts dragged being dull and lacking in energy. It’s not a long film at 1 hour 37 minutes but it felt it. I guess, as a fairly lightweight horror, you could watch it with your kids it might work but many 15-year-olds might well find it all a bit tame.
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