There's something about the starkness of the Danish countryside around Jutland, the eccenticity and individuality of its people, and the historic influences of expressionism, that lends a natural melancholy film noir experience to its better productions and Ole Bornedal's Deliver Us From Evil, a multi-genre exploration in the dark, does not disappoint.
The film opens on a lonely Danish motorway, where a Rod Serling-style narrator sets the background. We are introduced to Johannes and Pernille (Lasse Rimmer, Lene NystrÝm), a yuppie couple who recently moved with their two young children to Johannesí childhood home in the country.
The other main characters include Alain, a Bosnian Muslim refugee and Lars, Johannes' thuggish brother.
You may remember singer-songwriter Lene Nystrom as the lead in Aqua (Barbie Girl). Fewer people are aware that she is a talented songwriter who has written hits for British icons, Girls Aloud, as well as pursuing her own solo career.
Lars accidentally runs down and kills a young woman called Anna, so he decides to frame Alain - who cares about a Muslim refugee anyway? It's from this point that the film begins to spiral into darkness until all the characters are sucked into the ensuing tragedy in true noir style. Passions run deep as the local 'rednecks' decide to take the fate of Alain into their own hands, despite the efforts of the local police and Johannes.
The surprise ending will be enjoyed by all. I wouldn't describe watching a Danish movie as a happy experience - but my goodness, you do end up talking about it to anyone who'll listen for months afterwards.
Aqua star Lene Nystrom stars as Pernille