Getting its world premier at TIFF 2017 in September, Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s Valley of Shadows is all-in on atmosphere, cinematography and innocence.
Dark shadows, thick white fogs, and a personal favourite of a child in silhouette, backlit by a bonfire (I call this the Time of the Wolf shot, after the climax of Michael Haneke’s 2003 horror-allegory) make this a must see for fans of high-brow genre film.
Scandanavia has been a particular bright spot for the past 15 years. In this day and age of too many jump scares and a heavy crutch on comedy and self-awareness in horror, it looks like the classic design and tone of Valley of Shadows is exactly what the good doctor ordered.
A young boy, Aslak, struggling to connect with his mother, with no father or siblings around lacks the ability to deal with what’s going on. With the local livestock being slaughtered, and a lack of clear evidence as to the cause, the children are convinced there’s something supernatural, possibly a werewolf.
Hat tip to Indiewire for getting the trailer exclusive.