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Nordic films at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 4th April – 16th April 2017

About the festival

The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival was created as a venue for horror, thriller and science fiction films.

When? 4th April – 16th April 2017

Where? Brussels, Belgium

Festival info: http://www.bifff.net/

Denmark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAfCzPGUaas

Small Town Killers

Directed by Ole Bornedal

Ib and Edward, two tradesmen, are tired of their lifeless marriages and dream of living the good life from the stash of money they’ve earned moonlighting for years. After a huge fight with their wives, Gritt and Ingrid, the two men get drunk and hire a Russian contract killer to do a hit on their spouses. But they have badly underestimated their wives. This becomes the start of an absurd journey where Ib and Edward to their own horror end up at the top of a kill list.

For seven long years, we anxiously awaited the return of Ole Bornedal to the BIFFF after Deliver us From Evil! Well, he’s finally back with the deliciously dark Small Town Killers. If you think the story’s a bit lighter than his previous films, rest assured: Danish humor is still as ferocious as ever, especially when you can count on tenors such as Ulrich Thomsen (Adams Apples, Festen, The Thing), Nicolas Bro (Men & Chicken, War Horse) and Soren Malling, who already came to say hi last year with Men & Chicken.

Nordic Film Database Link

BIFFF Link

Robin

Directed by Antonio Tublen

Section: Thriller Competition

You can run into anything in the Danish woods, but a naked woman covered in blood is not something you see every day. Her name is Robin and she not only claims to have witnessed a gruesome murder but also to having killed her assailant in self-defense. The problem is that the police doesn’t find any trace to prove what happened to her. It remains a complete mystery. Robin feels abandoned by the police, who clearly think she’s the victim of an overactive imagination. Ever her husband and her sister have all the trouble in the world to believe her. She reaches a chilling conclusion. If she didn’t kill the murderer, he must still be out there, wanting to end what he started.

In 2014 Antonio Tublen had a Cuvée des Trolls or two or three or more… at the BIFFF to celebrate that his film LFO had won our 7th Orbit Award. But he was also there at our international co-production market Frontières to pitch the script for his newest project (just as a certain Julia Ducournau did with Raw). And this is the result! Robin is a gripping and disturbing Swedish thriller in world premiere at the BIFFF, starring Rosalinde Mynster (A Royal Affair) and Jesper Christensen (Mr White from the latest Bond movies).

BIFFF Link

Iceland

Child Eater

Directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen

When little Lucas goes missing from his bedroom in the middle of the night, his babysitter Helen ventures out into the deep, dark woods armed only with a flashlight and a fierce determination to find the boy. Every step of the way, she’s painfully aware of the rumours about these woods: This is the home of Robert Bowery, a serial killer who years ago came to the eyes of children in order to keep himself from going blind. But Robert Bowery was stopped and killed. He’s long dead. So why do the rumours persist, decades later? As Helen travels deeper and deeper into the woods, towards an abandoned and rotting petting zoo, she starts to realise that perhaps the stories are all true. Perhaps he’s still out there. Unfortunately, Helen has no clue exactly what kind of horrors she’s in for. The night has just begun.

A babysitter. A missing kid. A local legend who feasts on the eyes of children. Child Eater is a nightmarish roller-coaster ride of a horror movie inspired by the fantastical tone of 80ties and 90ties slasher movies. Erlingur Thoroddsen’s eponymous short from 2012 served as a formidable calling card to get the industry interested in turning it into a feature. Thoroddsen doesn’t waste time with elaborate character settings or psychological backgrounds. He goes straight for the jugular, serving up a nice juicy slasher that will take you back to the heydeys of Jeepers Creepers and Candyman.

Nordic Film Database Link

BIFFF Link

The Oath

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur

Screening in the Thriller Competition

As a surgeon, Finnur is often forced to make tough decisions in, particularly critical situations. And he does it brilliantly. On the other hand, his personal life is like Nicolas Cage’s recent filmography. He keeps piling up the wrong choices. It all began with the departure of Anna, his eldest daughter, who decided to go live with her boyfriend Ottar. But the problem with this thug is that he likes white powder, and we’re not talking about ski slopes. Not wanting to see his daughter turn into an extra from Trainspotting, Finnur informs the police about one of Ottar’s drug deals. But he’s quickly released from jail and now owes a shitload of money to his suppliers. And it’s going to be Finnur and Anna who’ll have to pay the price.

Baltasar Kormakur returns to Iceland for the first time after a pit-stop in Hollywood and successful collaborations with Mark Wahlberg (Contraband, 2 Guns) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Everest). In The Oath, good people make bad decisions and will have to live with the consequences. Nordic noir the way we like it!

Nordic Film Database Link

BIFFF Link

Sweden

The White King

Directed by Alex Helfrecht, Jörg Tittel

When you are twelve years old, you like to play games, go on a pick nick with your parents and enjoy those precious times without hesitation. But when you’re living in a dystopian future that resembles a lot like a version of capitalist communism, you know that those moments will not last long. Djata gets his first life lesson when his father is forced to go to “work” at the military office and never comes back. After a couple of months that feel like years to him, Djata decides to enrol in the local branch of the fascist police, because that is the best a kid at his age can get. But when you’ve inherited a bit of rebel DNA, you don’t easily fit in with the other brainwashed boys. Before they took his dad away, he passed on a secret to Djata that could change everything. But will it be enough to break free from a regime that doesn’t like secrets?

This adaptation of György Dragoman’s The White King is a strong warning against what society could look like if we put too much authoritarian strongman in power (we’re not giving any names, but you know who we’re talking about). The dystopian future created by Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel has a disturbing resemblance to many things we already see today. Thanks to a wonderful cast, among whom Jonathan Pryce (Brazil), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) and Greta Scacchi (The Player), we get a glimpse of what could be in store for us. And guess where Jörg Tittel, who was born in Belgium, got his first movie thrills? At the BIFFF, of course!

Nordic Film Database Link

BIFFF Link

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.