The Old Man and the Monster: New Swedish Horror

Nordic Noir (as crime fiction from the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden is being tagged) already has a strong presence on the Backbrain’s TV must-watch list (not to mention reading list). But there’s also been a decent smattering of Nordic Horror over the past five or six years. Several films spring immediately to mind: vampire drama Let the Right One in [aka Låt den rätte komma in] (Sweden, 2008), zombie Nazi horror Dead Snow [aka Død snø] (Norway, 2009) and its sequel Dead Snow: Red vs Dead [aka Død Snø 2] (Norway/Iceland), hospital horror Dark Floors (Finland/Iceland, 2008), eco monster epic The Last Winter (US/Iceland, 2006), slasher horror Cold Prey [aka Fritt vilt] (Norway, 2006) and its sequels, glacial monster flick Frost (Iceland, 2012), evil Santa horror-comedy Rare Exports (Finland/Norway/France/Sweden, 2010) and, of course, the infamous Troll Hunter [aka Trolljegeren] (Norway, 2010).

Now a new one is set to be unleashed:

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Hermit: Monster Killer (Sweden-2014; dir. Ola Paulakoski) is touted by its makers to be a horror comedy, “a mixture of Jaws and Åsa-Nisse (an eccentric elderly character created by Swedish writer Stig Cederholm — Åsa-Nisse has featured in humorous stories, over 20 films and a comic series), Tremors and a Värmländsk local revue, with elements of Moby Dick and Predator”. HMK-02-Borje Lundberg

Directed by Ola Paulakoski and produced by Gustaf Karlsson from a script by Fred Anderson, Hermit: Monster Killer tells the story of an aged and rather cranky recluse (played by Börje Lundberg, pictured above) who decides to take matters into his own hands when a mysterious monster turns up and has the tasteless audacity to kill his dog! HMK-06-Ola Paulakoski

<p>”>The titular character, an ageing eccentric, seems to represent a popular stereotype in Nordic popular culture. Here he is in some concept art, with a hint as to the shape of the beast as well.

HMK-concept-art

Synopsis:

Värmland, Sweden — where people are happy. Clean air, crystal clear waters, green forests. Way out there in the wilderness lives a grumpy old hermit and his faithful dog. The only thing they need to worry about are the brats who pinch his apples and the occasional lost tourist. It’s a good life, maybe a little lonely, but far from the worst you can have.

The nearest town is a small place with a grimy pizza joint and a single cop who has hold of the law. It is also home to Palle, a lucky loser who thrives quite well as the local rugby team’s mascot and is deeply in love with his beautiful girlfriend, Ulla. Sure, life is perfect right? Or it was until the day the bad thing happens. Yes, THAT! The day the MONSTER came!

Now it’s up to the hermit Palle and his rugby friends to hunt down and exterminate the mysterious beast that threatens to tear apart the town and eat up every last man, woman and pet it comes across! Soon the once-beautiful scenery is filled to the brim with horror beyond our heroes’ wildest fantasies!

Only one man can stop the monster’s rampage: the old hermit — and his hunting rifle. But is he past his used-by date?

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More trailers/teasers can be viewed on the film’s website.

Gallery:

More images, both behind the scenes and unprocessed screenshots, are available on the Facebook page.

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I’m very keen to see this one. It looks like a lot of gruesome fun.

Sources: Official Publicist Avery Guerra; Facebook page; Hermit: Monster Hunter Website

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