The White Reindeer

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

The directorial debut of Finnish cinematographer Erik Blomberg, The White Reindeer won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. A vampiric fairy-tale set amongst the starkly beautiful fells of Finnish Lapland, Blomberg combines an almost documentary filming style with avant-garde experimentation to produce a dreamy art-house horror film without compare.

Students of cinema, and those who love wild tales of wild places are sure to fall in love with this beautifully-filmed ‘lost’ classic and it’s evocative celebration of the folk tales of the Sámi people.

A newly-married young woman, Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen), becomes frustrated and lonely as her husband, a reindeer herder for a small Arctic village, spends much of his time away from home in devotion to his work. Desperate for affection, she visits a shaman who offers a potion that makes her an irresistible object of desire, but there is a terrible cost. Pirita becomes a bloodthirsty shapeshifter who lures men out into the barren wilderness where she consumes them.

With its portrayals of gender inequality, societal pressures, and sexual anxiety, The White Reindeer is a film that deserves to be rediscovered and recognised as a defining film in the horror and fantasy genres. 

The Masters of Cinema Series presents the film from a new 4K restoration for the first time ever in the UK.