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Natural horror

Norwegians generally are nature lovers and like spending time out in the nature. However, the Norwegian landscape is also inspiring makers of horror films.

The landscape and outdoor activities are associated with positive experiences in Norwegian culture, and is one of the most important elements when it comes to promoting Norway as a tourist destination abroad. But if you have seen any Norwegian horror movies, you might have a different impression. An important characteristic of these films is that the Norwegian landscape is fully developed as an element of the horror.

The classic Norwegian film Lake of the Dead (De dødes tjern) from 1958 caused many a person from that generation to tremble if ever they found themselves near a woodland pond in the depths of twilight. After the success of Lake of the Dead, nearly 50 years would pass before Norwegian movie makers again would take up horror movies as a genre.

Then came Dark Woods (Villmark) in 2003, which marked a change in the production of new horror films in Norway. As in Lake of the Dead, it included the Norwegian landscape as an important element in creating a feeling of terror. Since then, there has been a wave of Norwegian films where nature plays an important role as an ingredient of fear and dread for creating real terror.

Christer Bakke Andresen at NTNU has written his doctoral thesis on Norwegian horror movies produced from 2003 to 2015. “In the recent Norwegian wave of horror films, almost all of the fear and dread happens in the forests and up in the mountains. Norwegian nature as source of terror is a distinct feature of the horror phenomenon in Norway,” he says.

The wave of Norwegian horror movies consists of:
Dark Woods (Villmark. 2003)
Next Door (Naboer. 2005)
Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt. 2006)
Manhunt (Rovdyr. 2008)
Cold Prey 2 (Fritt Vilt 2. 2008)
Dead Snow (Død snø. 2009)
Hidden (Skjult. 2009)
Detour (Snarveien. 2009)
Cold Prey 3 (Fritt Vilt 3. 2010)
Trollhunter (Trolljegeren. 2010)
Dark Souls (Mørke sjeler. 2011)
The Monitor (Babycall 2011)
Thale (2012)
Ragnarok (Gåten Ragnarok 2013)
Dead Snow 2 (Død snø 2. 2014)
Utburd (2014)
Dark Woods 2 (Villmark 2. 2015) 

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