August 06, 2010

STORM (2005) - impressive and glossy Swedish nightmare

(2005, Sweden)

Excellent mindfuck classic...

I'm looking forward to the new horror film Shelter, starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. But here's an earlier film from the same directing duo, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.

I saw Storm recommended on Twitch Film years ago. It's precisely the kind of quality recommendation I'd expect of them. Their reviewers know that there are hugely interesting films to be found internationally.

The film is probably relatively unknown because it's Swedish. But it's as professionally polished as anything from Hollywood, and would be a widely-known cult classic if it were in English.

However, knowing nothing about the story is a very good way to go in. Not only was the plot unpredictable, I didn't even know what genre I was in.

It opens with two women running for their lives from a pack of mutant (?) skinheads, led by a bad guy in a suit (Jonas Karlsson). The redhead looks like a kick-ass, hard-boiled version of Tilda Swinton, taking the bad guys down with impressive martial arts skills.

Then we meet Donny (Eric Ericson) a cynical journalist who's found his place in the big city. He won't even commit to a woman for a one-night stand. He lives to drink in the trendiest bars, ligging drinks and entry to the latest clubs. He loves city life and hates that he was born out in the sticks - where smalltown niceness promised a life of boredom. But what exactly does he want from life?

As a huge storm mysteriously disappears over Stockholm, he runs into red-headed Lova (Eva Röse), who's still being chased by the skinheads. The city slacker thinks he's meeting an action hero. She gives him a small metal cube and and a mysterious challenge. After this brief meeting his life turns upside down as he faces murder, time travel and the devilish man in black.

But sit back and enjoy the ride, you're supposed to be as confused as the hero, without a clue where he's going or even where he's been...

There aren't too many clues from the movie references lurking in the corners. This is the only time I've heard Phantasm II get a name-check! At various points I thought the lead character had fallen into a video game, a manga or had maybe watched Donnie Darko once too often.

The mind-bending story aside, there's sly humour, grim drama, truly excellent acting, and sumptuous downbeat cinematography. It's an enjoyable nightmarish treat that will probably only make sense a while after you've watched it...

I enjoyed this tremendously, mostly because it was impressive and fresh and kept me guessing.

I watched Storm on a Thai DVD, but it's also out in the UK, US and all over Europe. Just be careful what the adverts compare it to - it's not like The Matrix at all. Don't be put off by the poster and DVD art, which simply don't do the stylised look of the film justice.

Here's a subtitled trailer on YouTube...


  1. That looks cool! Have to see if Netflix has it.

  2. Looks good. LOVE a good mindfuck.

  3. Just convinced me to buy the DVD. Sounds like a really interesting one and it's actually dirt cheap on amazon. Thanks for opening my eyes to this flick.

  4. Just convinced me to buy the DVD. Sounds like a really interesting one and it's actually dirt cheap on amazon. Thanks for opening my eyes to this flick.