Your favorite Catgirl Princess is heading to snowy Scandinavia this time out for a look at 2010’s Norwegian film “Flukt”, staring “Cold Prey” heroine Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. The Trailer promised lots of rugged Nordic landscapes, plenty of vicious viking guys chasing after a plucky young damsel-in-distress, and a whole lot of nail biting action to boot. Gotta know Neko’s all ready for that!
So… our synopsis goes like this: “Ten years after the Black Death has ravaged the lands, killing off most of the population while leaving the survivors traumatized and desperate to make new lives for themselves, a poor family is ambushed by a pack of merciless raiders on a desolate mountain pass. Their oldest daughter, nineteen-year-old Signe, is the lone survivor of the massacre. Taken hostage and facing a fate worse than death, Signe manages to flee with the help of another young captive girl, but her escape does not go unnoticed by her brutal kidnappers. Now the chase is on.”
Sound familiar? It sure does to this wee lady, and I’m certain I’ve seen this story before… but with the substitution of settlers for peasants and Indians for viking raiders…. but hey, I seem to think I liked that story (even if I can’t remember it’s title.. d’ohh!) so more than likely I’ll dig this one too!
Think you might wanna give it a try too? Then watcha’ waitin’ for? By all means “Read On” and let a certain crazy Catgirl give you all the details! 😉
This is another film by Norwegian director Roar Uthaug who brought us “Cold Prey”, his take on the slasher genre put through the Scandinavian cultural filter and it again stars Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, although this time out as our story’s main villain rather than our heroine. And a rather nasty one at that…. 😉
So who is our heroine? Why that would be Signe (played by Isabel Christine Andreasen), the eldest daughter of a wandering family displaced in the chaotic aftermath of the Black Death as it ravaged the Nordic kingdoms in 1363. Given the short run-time of this one…. a scant 80 minutes or so… we don’t get much character development for either her or her family before our vicious raiders show up to go all medieval on their poor peasant butts. We get the general idea though… loving , quiet daughter who dotes on her younger brother Tormod (played by Eirik Holden Rotheim), but that’s about it.
Before we can get all that interested in these characters… well… they just plain end up dead. Seriously dead. Poor Signe is mere moments away from joining them when her life gets spared by Dagmar (played by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) the icy, stone cold killer who leads this vicious band of thugs. A female bandit leader? Yep… and don’t let those baby blue eyes fool you. In this pack of sadistic murderers she’s most definitely the alpha dog.
So why spare Signe? Well, seems Dagmar has a “daughter” back at their camp… a quiet mousy lil’ waif named Frigg (played by Milla Olin). Seems Frigg has been wanting a “little sister”for some while now.. and Dagmar is barren… and her raiders are wanting a woman to “entertain” them on those long cold nights in the mountains. Oh yeah…. now that’s a truly a bad bit of luck for poor pretty Signe.
It doesn’t take much to realize the poor girl is just another captive, stolen away much as Signe was, years before from parents she was too young to even remember. She’s the one weakness that Dagmar has… so obviously fixated on raising her as if she were her own daughter, with a sick mixture of smothering love and brutal psychological abuse that will eventually turn her into the spitting image of the monster she herself has become.
But…. luckily for Signe, Frigg is still just a little girl who wants desperately to escape this horrid life… even if she doesn’t really know or understand why. She feels badly for the terrible things that Dagmar will let happen to Signe, and so tries to help her flee, getting caught up in that escape when things go wrong at just the last moment. Then the real meat of our story starts.
I was expecting the story to go all “Rambo meets Xena, Warrior Princess” at this point, and while we do get a little of that, it’s much less than I thought it would be. Signe doesn’t really rise to the occasion and tap into her “Inner Warrior Princess”… instead she basically flees into the gorgeously rugged mountain terrain, blindly looking for help. Yes.. yes… she does manage to kill a couple of the bad guys, but it’s completely through dumb luck for the most part. That’s somewhat disappointing… realistic, I suppose… but hardly satisfying for this wee Catgirl. Our two fugitives don’t even do the simplest things to try to even the odds or increase their chances for survival. Killing one raider who foolishly tries to rape her by whacking him in the head with a rock, they then leave his body behind without even taking any of his weapons or possessions to help them as they stumble around in the wilderness. Grrrrr!! Soooo, sooo darn dumb. Even Carolyn leaned over at that point in the film and asked me why they didn’t do that… and all I could do was shake my lil’ head.
Eventually as the killers continue their dogged pursuit, we get Dagmar’s backstory… about how she was just a simple peasant woman during the plague years, unwed and with a young daughter of her own. Pregnant unwed mother? Oh crap… yeah… gotta know that makes her the perfect patsy to blame for the outbreak. Unfortunately the locals follow that stupid idea of tying up people and chucking them in a river to prove witchcraft. It kills the little girl…. and nearly kills Dagmar too, who amazingly manages to escape and run to the mountains where she becomes tough, crazy, vengeful, and psychotic to boot.
Meanwhile as they make their way through the wilderness, Signe keeps dreaming about her dead brother… the one she promised to protect and failed to save when the chips were down. She and Frigg start becoming closer and she decides that this time she’ll die rather than fail to protect the girl from falling back into Dagmar’s obsessive clutches.
Think that will happen? Nawwww… It’s just that kind of story. There will of course be the prerequisite re-capture of lil’ Frigg… the near death of Signe, plummeting from a huge waterfall, only to miraculously survive and grimly make her way back to their camp for that final showdown with Dagmar.
Time to hug her new lil’ “sister” and for the two of them to return to the site of the ambush so Signe’s brother can receive a proper burial before they both continue hand in hand down that lonely road to whatever new life awaits them. Cue those end credits!! 😉
Hmmmm. So what’s the verdict on this one? Well. Somehow I did indeed have the strangest sense of deja vu when watching it. I just know I’ve seen this story before. Seriously. But I seem to remember it had pioneers… and Indians… Or was it jungle explorers and cannibals? Heck I don’t know… and it really doesn’t matter. It’s a basic story that resonates well with just about any audience, set in just about any period, and featuring just about any bunch of violent crazy killers doing what violent crazy killers do best. Even my sweetie agreed on this, and she’s seen waaaay fewer of these kind of genre films than I have.
Basically I guess I’m saying it’s not a bad movie all in all. But it certainly doesn’t have any real surprises either. It isn’t particularly violent or bloody…. although it has it’s moments, they never ramp it up to those crazy levels a good revenge melodrama sometimes goes to. The acting is good… and as the villainous Dagmar, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal certainly seems to have tapped into her own inner “crazy ass bitch” for everything it’s worth this time out. Not surprising to see her face on the movie poster rather than the rather bland Signe. Not that Signe isn’t portrayed in a sympathetic fashion mind you…. she’s just not “spunky” enough for this wee lady’s tastes in movie heroines. Sigh….
That said, I guess I’d have to give “Flukt” a middle-of-the-road 3 “Meows” out of 5 for being a competent, yet not an amazing effort that will be pleasantly enjoyed by most viewers yet sadly not truly memorable with the passing of time. Ahhh well….
The DVD? Well I saw the recently released Region 1 release, done widescreen with both the original Norwegian Audio track and English subtitles as well as a somewhat lackluster English language audio dubbing. It comes with a selection of deleted scenes, trailers, and some blooper footage, all nifty and watchable but not essential to the overall enjoyment of the film itself. Nicely, it’s available for right around 9 -15$ US most places. At that price, it’s a definite deal for an evening’s movie fun.
Trailer? Yep… I’ve got the original Norwegian one all ready for your viewing pleasure… enjoy!!