The cult section of the literary world

World Horror Cinema: Norway

By Sam Reeve

lakeofthedead_sweTitle: Lake of the Dead (De dødes tjern)

Year: 1958

Language: Norwegian

My rating: 8/10

Often cited as the best Norwegian horror film, and by many critics is considered one of the best Norwegian films overall, Lake of the Dead would now seem more a murder mystery than a true horror. Regardless of its classification, Lake of the Dead has a great story and cast, and plenty of murder and creepiness to keep you satisfied.

Lillian, her fiance Harald, and four of their friends go to visit her brother Bjorn at his cabin in the woods. When they arrive, he isn’t there, and they soon discover his dog’s body and some strange tracks suggesting he threw himself into the lake. A local policeman tells them the story surrounding the lake: many years before, almost to that very day, a man who loved his sister murdered her and her lover before drowning himself in the lake, too. He owned the cabin and is said to haunt those who spend the night.

Strange things start happening, like Lillian being called to throw herself in the lake while sleeping, and soon the group figures out they’re not alone in those woods. They band together to solve the mystery and catch their terrorizer, but will they figure it out before they get picked off? You’ll have to find out…

lake of the dead bjornLake of the Dead was a great mystery/horror if you’re a fan of the old black and white stuff. It’s certainly not too scary by modern standards, but it’s a nice break to see some classy Norskis romping around in sweaters and solving the mystery instead of being hacked to bits when they get caught humping. There’s a fair bit of comic relief, witty dialogue and a damned good mystery that I certainly never would’ve solved, so I loved it.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a trailer or any clips to share, but the full movie is below for your viewing pleasure. Seen this classic? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

2 responses

  1. Staying in tonight so going to catch up on all the awesome international horror films you’ve been posting. I’ve only seen the one from Thailand!

    October 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

  2. Jan

    I agree that this episode was a liltte weak. I most definitely agree with Lisa that they are cramming too much information into one episode.In my opinion, when that happens, alot of things get missed and seem rushed. I brought this up last season. The season finale was overkill.If they took their time to tell the story, missing pieces would be much fewer.IMO pros/cons for this episode:Pros: Loved the dialogue between Emma and Snow. The anger Emma carried with her and finally the realization that Snow put her first. Snow did what she thought was best for Emma and now that action is understood. The mystery’ of why one corner of the land survived. I highly suspect Cora somehow protected it. Ironic how Cora wasn’t affected by the curse. It’s my belief she somehow concocted a protection spell. Emmas sarcastic modern day humor is enjoyable. Mulan Follow my lead, do what I say .step where I step and we might survive. Emma Thanks for the pep talk. I think we’ll be ok, I just killed a dragon last week Mulan Have you ever seen an ogre? Emma No, but I’m pretty sure I dated a few. Lancelot was Cora in present day. That twist was AWESOME.Cons: The beginning battle scene when King George’s men found Snow/Charming’s camp. When the dialogue between the main characters was happening, fighting was taking place in the background. It was awful. The extras were just lazily slapping swords together. Looked like they were handling fly swatters. There was no movement. They just stood there in one spot and went through slow motion movements. It drew my attention away from the dialogue because it was so bad. I felt no sense of danger for the main characters. Awful. The ogre looked ok, but his bark was worse than his bite. The ogre waled alot. That’s about it. It didn’t touch Emma or Snow. Ok, it knocked the gun out of Emma’s hand. The scene was HUGE. Out of all of that you would think the ogre could have knocked the cr#$ of a couple people ..even just one person. That scene was awful. When Henry opened the box of snakes, he was facing a wall. The entrance was behind him. Then Charming/David comes up IN FRONT of henry and shuts the box. Well, wouldn’t Henry have seen David come in before he opened the box? It was so bad I noticed it right away. The first thing I thought was.. Hey, where did he come from? . Badly done placement.The writers need to slow things down and fill in gaping inexplicable holes in their stories. There are WAY TOO MANY to list here. I understand the suspension of disbelief . I totally get it. That’s not what I’m talking about here. It’s the lack of explanation that’s killing them, especially when they build a story around it. Just give an explanation that’s all especially when you build around a point. Don’t just leave it there for people to say Hey, that’s not right .For example:First if was There’s no magic here . Umm ok, then how is the curse working? This is the whole plot in the first season. I think an explanation is in order and no once again I’m not talking about the suspension of disbelief. then . Magic is different here . Really? How? They brought it up like 5 times. After you bring it up that much, I think you need to elaborate.They need more action ALOT more action. Come on people, this is a story of heroes heroines and villains. I don’t mean they need to put in gory massive bloody scenes but at least give it more kick.IMHO, if they slowed down the storytelling and added more action, the action would offset the slowness of the storytelling. I’m not an expert (by any stretch of the imagination) but if it’s written and acted correctly, the audience would be very entertained. I think the writers have chosen a bad path to tell the story too fast just to keep people watching, that they are missing way too many finer points. Most people I talk too tell me things aren’t very well thought out. I have to agree with them. I already have 2 friends that have lost interest. I don’t want to see this series cancelled. The ideas and concepts are awesome which is why I like it. I hope the writers are listening to their fans. .

    March 18, 2014 at 10:33 pm

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