Riders Of Justice has been on the radar now for a little under a year. I shared a small clip last year on social media and that clip didn’t even have subtitles but with Mikkelsen involved with director Anders Thomas Jensen again, I knew this was going to be something great. And, of course, Mikkelsen rocking the beard and jacket just like our beloved fallen hero, Richard in Shane Meadow’s, Dead Man’s Shoes.
Riders Of Justice tells the story of a man who lost his wife in a train crash. He travels back to Denmark to be with his only daughter, Mathilde to mourn. He is then approached by a mathematical genius that shows him that the train crash was far from an accident.
So, for those of you that are not familiar with writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen, I thought I would tell you about his other quality movies you may have missed that also star Mikkelsen. Jensen & Mikkelsen are sort of like the Danish Scorsese and DiCaprio. They have worked on a few projects together. I thought I would hook you all up with the information on those movies.
The Green Butchers is a macabre horror-comedy about a couple of friends who decide to open their own butcher shop after taking too much shit off of their boss. When An electrician dies in the freezer of their new shop, there are two things they can do – 1, do the right thing and phone the cops…or, 2, sell the dead dude in the freezer as marinated chicken to their gullible customers. Which one do you think they choose?
This was just a tonne of fun and reminded me quite a bit of the French classic Delicatessen
After The Green Butchers, there was Adam’s Apples. It is more of a dark drama than anything. It couldn’t be more different from The Green Butchers proving that they can almost tackle any genre.
The story of an ex-con neo-Nazi that is released into the care of a church before being allowed back into society. The film deals with the relationship between the neo-Nazi and the devoted church priest. Not much to it on the outside but Adam’s Apples is a deeply moving, thought-provoking and powerful film.
These three are the only ones that I know that Jensen and Mikkelsen have collaborated on. If I have missed any films, then I would be delighted if you were to let me know. I really hope that some of you ain’t heard of these flicks before. If so, you guys are in for a cinematic treat.
As always, thanks for reading.
Riders Of Justice is due for release on the 21st of May
How about a list of new European movies? I think we have some great titles on the way. Have a read. Hope you enjoy!
I feel that I have left out Europe from any recent movie list. Of course, when I start one of my lists then I always end up biting off more than I can chew. This could be a 2 or 3-part article, there is so much greatness coming our way.
Let’s get to it! Here’s part one.
New European Movies
Border is the new film from director Ali Abbasi. I really wasn’t surprised to hear that this new thriller/fantasy is based on a book (SHORT NOVEL) by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
The last time one of Lindqvist’s novels was adapted for the screen, it took the pulsating neck of the movie-world and sunk its teeth into it. It was the remarkable, the astonishing, Let The Right One In. A movie, in my opinion, needs no introduction. One of the greatest vampire movies ever released, it’s that simple.
Like, Let The Right One In, Border focuses on the relationship of two outsiders called Tina and Vore.
Tina has the ability to sniff out guilt and she looks a little different from the rest of us. She works as a security guard, sniffing out smugglers or anyone guilty passing through.
At work, she meets Vore, a man with the same facial features as her (sort of lion-like). Vore is here to collect maggots and larvae, for what reason I am not sure but I can’t wait to find out.
The less known about this film, the better. That’s what the reviews are stating so we will leave it there.
New European Movies
Set in a small working-class area somewhere in Sweden where social benefits and crime are the man source of income.
When the father of Kimmie has to go to prison, it is up to his son to take the reigns of his criminal organisation.
This small description alone sounds like this is something that’s definitely going to be worth checking out. I am looking forward to hearing more information about Goliath.
New European Movies
The premise for this new Dutch-language movie, The Guilty sounds like a simple, yet effective plot.
An Alarm dispatcher and former police officer called Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. The call is disconnected without the victim disclosing her whereabouts.
Using his old police skills, he must do all that is in his power to find the kidnapper and the victim before it’s too late.
Directed and written by newcomer Gustav Möller. The Guilty was also a Sundance Festival award winner.
WOMAN AT WAR
New European Movies
I have read a few reviews for Woman At War and they have all been solid. This may be more light-hearted than the other flicks on this list.
The story of a woman who wages war against an aluminium company who are slowly destroying the land where she grew up.
Every Icelandic movie I have ever seen has painted the country in such dark grey and bleakness. This is a strange combination as the scenery is still breathtaking, yet, equally as haunting.
Country: Italy/ France (Italian language)
New European Movies
Dogman has been popping up on my radar for about a month. I am glad I am able to get some info written down as I have the memory span of a goldfish.
The new film from the director of Gomorrah (feature film) Matteo Garrone. The film focuses on a dog groomer who gets caught up with a violent boxer who terrorises everyone in the neighbourhood they live in. Caught up in dealing coke and trying to care for his daughter
This could be my favourite on the list. The setting of these Italian features gives off a constant stench of desperation.
The rampant unemployment, the mafioso, drugs, murder, and run-down high-rise apartment blocks. Garrone also painted this picture of hopelessness so vividly and perfectly when he first released Gomorrah to the world.
Darkland tells the story of Ziad (Dar Salim), a well-respected surgeon who migrated to Denmark from Iraq with his family. Life seems good, he has the luxury apartment, a great job, a wife and a child on the way.
Ziad’s life changes forever when his younger brother arrives at his door, distressed, desperate and looking for cash. It would seem the brother looking for cash wasn’t an isolated incident. We get the impression that this a regular occurrence, (he is looking for 100k ), so Ziad turns him away. What Ziad didn’t know is that he unintentionally signed his younger brother’s death warrant. He was attacked outside Ziad’s upper-class apartment and beaten to death by a local immigrant gang.
Ziad and his family find little to no comfort in the authorities. Not only do the police seem racist, but they show no sympathy for the loss of life due to the activities the young brother was caught up in.
Ziad begins to ask questions.
He wants answers, he wants to find why his brother died. He delves into the underbelly of Denmark revealing a dark, seedy and dangerous side to the city that he never knew existed. The further he goes down the rabbit hole, the further he detaches himself from his home and professional life.
With zero help from the police, Ziad feels he is left with no choice but to avenge his brother’s death. In this new-found world of drugs, gangs, murder and prostitution, Ziad begins to hunt the scum of the city until he finds the ones responsible.
DARKLAND works on so many levels.
I THINK THAT ZIAD WAS A FIGHTER BEFORE HE BECAME A SURGEON
The guys who train him, know him and are reluctant at first. For reasons unknown, they try to talk Ziad out of training; maybe this is because he was some sort of animal with a violent past before becoming a surgeon?. I don’t think these questions are answered, but I would like to believe that he had some fighting experience, rather than seeing him learn to fight in the short sequences of the film.
The build-up to Ziad becoming this vigilante is frightening and the acting is remarkable. It’s all in the strong character development as we watch him throw away his professional life and slowly become the masked avenger. His guilt and obsession for justice have turned him into a brutal force of reckoning. Ziad. is now hell-bent on avenging his younger brother’s death and destroying anyone who crosses his path. The film quickly shifts from a gangland racial drama, into a dark and unsettling revenge tale.
Carrying the same artistic visual style as Nicolas Winding Refn films driven with a familiar, but strong revenge tale.
DARKLAND’s originality lies wrapped in the social commentary that deals with prominent issues in Denmark such as immigrant gangs, drugs, hatred + racism.
Starting the Euro Horror list off with the much talked about, Raw. The film focuses on 16-year-old Justine. Her parents are strict vegan’s and have raised her the same. Justine packs her belongings and leaves for college to pursue her dream of becoming a vet. But college isn’t all she thought it would be. The students of the college hold strange rituals with animal sacrifices. They meet at night covered in blood, and make our strict vegan perform a rare ritual which sees her eat some Raw animal liver
The next day she starts to notice changes, her body is covered in a rash and she has now got a strange hunger. Our vegan starts to realise that the more the rash progresses the more she finds herself craving human flesh.
I am really looking forward to this one. Raw is very realistic and apparently not an easy film to stomach, which is great news for fans of extreme horror. Raw recently received the best-known publicity that any horror filmmaker could dream of: someone fainted at one of the screenings
(I think I’ll be getting this movie soon enough. a review will arrive at some point)
I have recently learned that Cruel is streaming on Netflix U.S. I am shocked that this film has not generated more of a buzz. Cruel is a superb serial killer movie from France written and directed by Eric Cherrière.
I found Cruel to be on the strongest serial killer flicks that I have seen in some time. The film follows a serial killer called Pierre who has killed for years. He has his own set of rules that he abides by; he must study his victims, he must never use the same weapon or kill method twice.
Pierre cares for his sick father in their large apartment in Toulouse. In the basement of the apartment, there is a room that was built by his grandparents during the war. We hear Pierre boast about how not even the Gestapo could find it. Obviously, this where Pierre takes his victims to toy with, torture and then inevitably kill them in some random way.
You all have no excuse, CRUEL is on Netflix U.S. Get on it.
In 2014 there was a movie released called Hostile. Hostile caught my attention because it was the directorial début from a young guy called Nathan Ambrosini. When I say young, I mean it, Nathan Ambrosioni was only 14-years-old when he released his first French horror movie.
Now, Ambrosioni is 16-years-old and there is no sign of him slowing down. He was recently back the festivals with his second horror movie, Therapy
Therapy follows two cops who find disturbing footage of a family in an abandoned building. The two cops must try and figure out what has happened to the family before it’s too late.
Probably more of a thriller than a horror but it goes on the list anyways. Marshland was released in 2014 and was on watch-list for a long time. The film is a Spanish serial killer movie that oozes a deep Southern True Detective vibe.
Two cops must find a serial killer that has murdered young women for years. A film with all-around amazing reviews. The acting is superb, the direction is superb and the script is among the best in the serial killer genre.
It is hard not make the comparison to True Detective but I mean that in the best way possible. It just feels like True Detective and even looks like it. But the only similarities apart from the Southern feel and one of the detectives looking like Rust Cole is that there is a serial killer as fuel for the main storyline.
The Eyes Of My Mother is an American-Portuguese production. The film has an even balance and switches between the English language and Portuguese (with Eng subs).
Although the film is set in America, it has to go on the list as it is one of the best directorial debut’s I have seen. I got to review this movie as part of our Fantasia International Film Festival coverage. It was one of the highlights from a festival packed full of amazing titles.
The film follows a beautiful, shy, young Portuguese woman who lives in a huge farmhouse on her own. She lost her mother when she was young to a serial killer. Her father died years later and his death is the one that pushes her right to the edge of madness.
The barn is where we usually keep animals but not in her case.. Our twisted lead character who has been traumatised by events of her younger life uses the barn for something much darker. She has been kidnapping and killing people for years. She keeps her friends in the barn, chained to walls and fed like an animal. She removes their eyes so if they ever did manage to break the chains and escape, they would have no idea where to go.
This film is very unsettling and made on a tiny budget (a huge achievement). I found there to be elements of some of the greatest horror film from over the years: movies like Audition, Martyrs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho.
WHEN ANIMALS DREAM
Released in 2014 When Animals Dream gives us a different kind of creature feature and something we very rarely see in Euro horror. Set in a tiny fishing village somewhere in Denmark. The film follows a teenager called Marie who is helping her father look after her their sick mother who is suffering from a rare disease,
Her mother has a strange disease that is so serious it requires her to be constantly sedated. Strange deaths start to happen across the fishing village Marie starts to realise that she has now inherited the same disease as her mother, she is a werewolf.
When Animals Dream features fantastic performances from all, especially from the teenage lead. The film’s setting is beautiful and cinematography captures its surroundings perfectly. A must for fans of a good character driven creature feature.
REC 1 & 2
Ok, I know what you’re thinking…everyone has seen Rec, right?. That may be true but I feel that it needs to go the list as it was ones that I missed in part 1. Rec was such a great film, it was low-budget, cleverly shot in the found-footage pov style and just came out of nowhere and blew everyone away.
I also found Rec 2 to be a worthy contender to the first instalment. I know Rec 2 was met with a lot of mixed reactions but I loved it. I loved the twist that the infection took which gave us a fresh take on a genre that has been done to death.
Sorry that I am leaving the third and fourth instalment out of the list but they don’t make the cut. The third took the virus to a completely different place. Director and writer Paco Plaza somehow thought it was a good idea to introduce some comedy into the franchise…I could not get used to that at all.
I had big hopes for the fourth and final instalment. Overall I was let down by the approach that Jaume Balagueró took. He gave the last instalment Hollywood sort of look, and when giving it the big makeover, it also lost the simplicity and nail-biting tension that the first 2 done so well.
Another one that I forgot to put on the first list. I revisited the list and couldn’t believe some of the titles that I left out of it. Them follows a married couple who live in a large country in a rural part of Romania. Their quiet country life is quickly turned into a living nightmare when they are attacked bu a group of unknown assailants in their house.
The couple must try to make it through the night alive using the large country house to their advantage.
A film that was so good because it was what you didn’t see that was frightening. Them is a masterclass in terror and suspense. Not only that but it makes it even more terrifying that the film is based on a true story and something like this probably happens more often than we think.
WITCHING & BITCHING
Witching And Bitching is a Spanish horror comedy first released in 2013. With them is one of the thieves son’s, he gets him once a week so had no choice but to take time with him to the robbery for some father & son bonding time.
The film starts with a heist by a gang dressed as street performers (one of them Jesus). With them is one of the thieves son’s, he gets him once a week so he had no choice but to take time with him to the robbery for some father & son bonding time.
The film has one of the best opening sequences and within the first 5 minutes of the film you just know that these guys have the humour on-point. There was something entertaining seeing a gang, one of them dressed as Jesus and one dressed as a plastic soldier. By the end of the robbery, we have already been treated to an impressive shoot-out and car chase..it was fun seeing a gold Jesus with a shotgun.
The comedy never leaves but the film takes a turn and the group of thieves becomes the latest play victims of a coven of witches
The movie does get a little ridiculous towards the end, but the this is way Alex de la Iglesia intended it. If you’re familiar with his earlier work then you would know that you’d expect nothing less.
Well, folks, that is another Euro Horror post for you all. I realise there is a few everyone has seen but I had to out them on the list. It would be an unforgivable sin not to.
There will be another Euro Horror post coming in the near future but it’s time to focus on a different part of the globe.
As always, thanks so much for reading.
Hooking You Up With Something To Watch!
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