Today: July 24, 2024

False Trail

The success of recent Scandinavian hits on the small screen, such as Wallander, The Killing and The Bridge, mean that Nordic Noir is now a genre in its own right.

The success
of recent Scandinavian hits on the small screen, such as Wallander, The Killing
and The Bridge, mean that Nordic Noir is now a genre in its own right.
A belated sequel to
1996’s Jägarna, False Trail
bears all the marks of what made those series so compelling – strong
characterization, atmospheric gloom, murky mystery – but can it add anything
new?

The timing might seem good of course, although for
a film primarily concerned with a hunting metaphor, anyone who caught Thomas Vinterberg’s fabulous The Hunt late last year will have seen
just how effective that can be, especially when certain near-identical scenes
(both based in a church) demonstrate why that film succeeded so well.

Tasked with the job of finding out what happened to
a missing young woman, Rolf Lassgård’s detective heads back home
to discover the local policeman Torsten (Armageddon’s
Peter Stormare) is now stepfather to
his nephew and in charge of the investigation. It’s not long though before he
discovers not everyone back home can be trusted.

While much has been made of False Trail’s release on the back of The Killing, in fact it’s Christopher Nolan’s snow-set hit Insomnia which holds a better
comparison. Taking the unusual step of revealing the killer’s identity mid-way
through, a routine first half (think Morse
in the cold) is lifted once the film becomes a more tense game of cat and
mouse.

Featuring the now requisite shots of stunning
landscapes, False Trail benefits
from some strong performances from its leads and the chilly (and chilling)
Swedish setting. It might be little more than a decent Sunday night two-parter
and it might be a little too familiar at the watery finale but for most of its
running time this is a trail well worth getting a scent of.

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