(director/writer: Roar Uthaug; screenwriters: Espen Aukan/story by Roar Uthaug; cinematographer: Jallo Faber; editors: Christoffer Heie/Jens Peder Hertzberg; music: Johannes Ringen ; cast: Ine Marie Wilman (Nora Tidemann), Kim Falck (Andreas Isaksen), Mads Sjøgård Pettersen (Kaptein Kristoffer Holm), Gard BEidsvold (Tobias Tidemann); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Espen Aukan/Kristan Strand Sinkerud/Jasmin Torbati; Netflix; 2022-Norway-in Norwegian with English subtitles–there’s also a dubbed in English version)

“Rich in spectacle and mythology even if offering nothing we haven’t seen before.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Norwegian director Roar Uthaug (“Tomb Raider”/”The Wave”) does a decent job with this family friendly watchable derivative monster movie (inspired by Hollwood monster blockbusters), that’s rich in spectacle and mythology even if offering nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s based on the story by Uthaug and co-written by the author with Espen Auken. It’s best asset might be its quick pace.

The Norwegian paleontologist Nora Tidemann (Ine Marie Wilmann) was raised by her folklore loving father, Tobias (Gard BEidsvold), in the Norwegian mountains. She developed a passion for ancient lore and giant creatures through him.

During an excavation railroad project  through the Dovre mountain, a giant creature (50-meter-tall and made entirely of stone) comes to life and tries to return to its ancient home.
The Tidemanns are asked by the government to check out what’s happening. They’re assisted by the aspiring author Andreas Isaksen (Kim Falck), analyst Sigrid Hodne (Karoline Viktoria Sletteng Garvang), and a peaceful Norwegian soldier, Kaptein Kristoffer Holm (Mads Sjøgård Pettersen). The only bad guy is the more aggressive Minister of Defense, Frederick Markussen (Fridtjov Såheim).

The thought-provoking film brings into play themes of how people respond to the unknown, xenophobia and colonization.

Nora observes things from her scientist prospective, while dad loves the stories from old and the superstitions passed on through the generations. The film is about how humans behave when confronted by a giant creature from their distant past rather than shooting another monster film for scares.


REVIEWED ON 12/13/2022  GRADE: B