Review: Familien Bergs erfaringer

Produced as part of a horror anthology of four short films in 2008 and 2009, Familien Bergs erfaringer is a traditional story about well functioning people trapped in a deadly forest.

Directed by Pål Øie, who started the Norwegian horror wave in 2003 with Dark Woods and would later direct the horror-thriller Hidden (2009), Familien Bergs erfaringer (which literally means Family Berg’s experiences) is a 25 minute short film about a family of three who are on their way to their summer house in the country. They travel at night and while passing through a forest area, their car bumps into something, and they are approached by a man who says they killed his dog. But the man has other plans than just letting the family help him bury the dog.

Norwegian horror anthologies are few and far between, which possibly is part of the explanation why such a traditional horror story was chosen. Psycho loners living in remote forests and terrorizing random visitors isn’t exactly new, but when you are making something new-ish, perhaps you want to do “the classics” before you take chances on things audiences may not relate to. Norwegians are very close to nature and it’s therefore contradictory that horror stories must take place in forests or on mountains to be scary, but even with these two clichés firmly in place it is nice to see that Familien Bergs erfaringer manages to be – if not scary – at least mildly disturbing. There is a certain level of tension throughout the movie, and the bad guy is well played by a creepy actor.

There are no special effects or gore to speak of, but the horror lies in atmosphere and tension, of which there is enough to keep up interest for the short duration time. Not a masterpiece, but a good way to let directors and actors get experienced in horror film making, in a country where that is seen as less than worthy.

Rated 7 of 10.

Directed by Pål Øie.

Norway, 2008.

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