Today is launch day for the new Danish feature film Finale, that was to be Denmark’s first theatrical torture porn film. Based on the award winning book by Steen Langstrup.
We first reported on the film in 2015 when it was scheduled to open in theatres in October 2016, but it’s not until today that the film will open to the general public in Denmark and the rest of the Nordic region. Finale is bypassing theatres and is the first DFI (Danish Film Institite) financed feature film to premiere directly on a video stream platform, Blockbuster. When the marketing started in 2015 and 2016, the film was said to be Denmark’s first theatrical torture porn movie, but now it heads for the modern form of home video. The only exceptions are two small theatrical screenings at Cinemateket in Copenhagen today and Monday, with the latter event having the director and the underlying novel’s author present for a talk. Cinemateket is part of DFI, the main sponsor. -[The decision to only distribute as VOD is because the last few years have shown that Danes are not interested in watching Danish nische and horror films in cinemas. They want to stream such films, so DFI and the team behind the film chose to show the film where people go. Simple as that, author Steen Langstrup wrote in his blog yesterday.
Nationwide quietness. The streets are empty. Everyone’s glued to their screens at home, watching the final game. In the outskirts of Denmark, close to the German border, a small gas station needs to be open for service, even on this special night. Two young women have the shift. Ambitious Agnes is in the backroom putting finishing touches on her thesis, while freespirited Belinda is on her phone, hoping to get the attention of her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the shift is not going to be as uneventful as they think, because no customers also means no witnesses, and the girls have been spotted to play a special part in a very different sort of game.
Early teaser posters
That’s the basic story in the Søren Juul Petersen-directed film, which he also wrote the script for. The producers described the film as one of the first “high concept, smart horror films from Denmark, standing on the shoulders of the Scandinavian noir tradition of intense drama with three-dimensional characters.” Director Juul Petersen also said: -On the surface Finale is about two girls and their nightshift during the night of a big sports final. But deeper down it deals with the boundaries of modern entertainment, the morbid curiosity of the human mind and the discovery of The Dark Web. The film is Juul Petersen’s feature directorial debut after more than 15 years of producing films.
The novel on which the movie is based, Danish author Steen Langstrup’s Alt det hun ville ønske hun ikke forstod (meaning “everything she whished she didn’t know”) won the Danish Horror Society’s Horror Book of the Year award in 2012. In 1995 he wrote the horror novel Kat which was made into the movie Cat by Martin Schmidt in 2001.
Finale has been marketed since 2015-16 with various viral techniques, including a special website, and as late as this fall a trailer got some Danes confused because it appeared to promote a new TV gameshow called Finale. In reality it was part of the online marketing of the film.
The main parts are played by Anne Bergfeld and Karin Michelsen, both debutants, and Damon Younger, Kim Sønderholm, Mads Koudal and Kristoffer Fabricius.
Finale is available on VOD through Blockbuster Nordic from today (and only in the Nordic region for the time being).