Stars: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Sten Ljunggren
Borders both personal and geographical, real and fantastical, are examined in this engrossing modern folk tale from Iranian-Swedish director Abbassi. Tina (Mallander) is a dedicated Swedish coastal border guard who resembles a troglodyte and possesses the uncanny ability to ‘smell’ guilt. So acute is her ability she has a sideline helping Swedish police with their investigations. Her life is turned upside down when, while working, she encounters the hulking Vore (Milonoff), who has a similar appearance but who is far less bashful about his looks and feral habits. He also shares Tina’s love of the natural world and soon they are frolicking in the freezing Swedish forest, their bucolic playground beautifully rendered by photographer Nadim Carlsen. When Vore’s true nature is revealed (do try and avoid spoilers) Tina must make a moral choice. Adapted from a short story by ‘Let the Right One In’ author John Ajvide Lindqvist, this shares that earlier story’s deft blending of supernatural horror and the all-too real dark aspects of contemporary life. It’s executed and played by the vanity-free leads with such seriousness of purpose and sincerity that when the story does veer into the supernatural it feels completely organic. Original and absolutely essential.