Hello and welcome to another edition of My Opinions. Today we will be reviewing the Swedish independent film, Vilsen, aka Ave Mater.
Vilsen is directed by Rasmus Tirzitis, who is known for the film, STAR WARS: THREADS OF DESTINY, a non-profit independent film that he had directed, but in English. Vilsen is a direct to digital/DVD release that is making some of the film festivals as we speak, and as of this review, if I'm not mistaken, is only available in Sweden and possibly some other countries close to it. I happen to be a very good friend of Director Tirzitis and got to own a copy for a good price with English subtitles. Now, taken into consideration of our friendship, I will try not to be biased in my review. So let's break it down shall we?
Story: The story starts out simple, but gets complicated as the film goes. But here's the beginning. What starts out as a simple murder case begins to turn into something more, something spooky, when elements of the who and why begin to surface. Soon, the main cop character, Goran, finds himself trying to find answers along with a woman who has ties to the criminal organization that is committing the murders.
My thoughts on the story are pretty straight forward. It's interesting, because this movie starts out as a simple suspense thriller, with a cop, a killer, and his or her victims. But it becomes clear that there is more to it and suddenly there's something you didn't expect in something of this genre, a supernatural element. The story gets good, and the thrills are quite nice to behold.
Characters/Acting: I'm not familiar with Swedish actors, but I did see at least 3 actors reappearing from Threads of Destiny. It seems the actors playing 'Soran Darr' and 'Lord Siege' from that film, cannot help but once again play enemies in this film as well, though they never meet. It was nice however seeing them speak their fluent Swedish. Carl, who plays Soran in ToD, spook a bit wooden, in that film, but feels more at ease here with his native tongue. The same can't be said for Andreas, who spoke great English in ToD, and speaks just as fluently obviously in Vilsen. All the actors do a great job of their respective roles and nothing really drew me out of the film in the acting department. The actress who plays Siri was particularly attractive, talented to boot. Imagine my shock when I found out she too was from Threads of Destiny. Rasmus is like Quentin Tarantino or Christopher Nolan, using repeat actors.
The Action: The action is slow, not very quick in execution, but that's okay. It was still rather entertaining and at last for the most part you can see everything that's going on. Not a bad thing where everything is quick cuts these days in Hollywood productions. There's a few action sequences, such as fights, and some gun play, but nothing too big. There's some gore. They're not afraid to show you the killer doing his deed. So expect blood.
The Twists: Not gonna spoil anything obviously, but there were at least a few twists and I didn't really see any of them coming. One, I saw, but not till it was almost literally on top of you.
Overall: This was a pretty damn good thriller. Definitely worth the price of admission, which to be fair, for me, was free. But I wasn't intending on buying a retail copy once available in the USA. It was entertaining and had good twists, characters, and story. One thing I was kind of wanting to see in the climax actually happens, but again, no spoilers there.
I give Vilsen/Ave Mater: 7/10
If you can, definitely check it out. It's worth it.