Review: Forlat oss vår skyld

Religious extremism forms the basis for this visually striking horror short. You know something is wrong when you arrive at a place where everything is innocently white!

This 24 minute short film from 2009 starts as a trio of Italian hard rock fans have lost their way en route to Bergen. By accident they find a house in the woods where a friendly family lives. They have suspiciously many children, but are explained that the family is a shelter for “lost children”. Since there are 4 or 5 hours left to drive to Bergen, the trio is offered food and beds for the night, but will they wake up to enjoy the next day?

The only film in the Filmgrøss x 4 anthology (loosely meaning Film chills) to be directed by a woman, Forlat oss vår skyld (a line from The Lord’s Prayer) is the most visually striking entry. Set design, specially composed scenes and dreamy imagery support the story in both suggestive and to-the-point ways. You know something is wrong when you arrive at a place where everything is innocently white, including the house! The film also manages to suggest horrors that may not play out, and you keep watching because there is so much potential in almost every scene. And the film delivers what it promises, as it in a most effective way conveys a feeling of something being wrong underneath the surface. Evil can take many shapes, and here it includes people who smile friendly at you while beating young girls up. This works only when the casting is right; Trond Fausa Aurvåg is just perfect as the seemingly nice Christian caring father.

If you were a skeptic towards Christian extremists before, you will go “I told you so” after watching Forlat oss vår skyld.

Directed by Kjersti Steinsbø.

Norway, 2009.

Rated 8 of 10.

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