Julia Schacht in “Naboer” [Norway, Sweden, Denmark 2005]

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My first post from a Norwegian film had to be something unusual. And different this certainly is – Pål Sletaune’s psychological thriller “Naboer” [Eng. Title: Next Door] chooses the well trodden subject of psychological trauma, but shows this from a totally unique perspective.

John hasn’t yet fully come to terms with the end of his relationship with Ingrid, his girlfriend of many years, and who left him for another guy. One day when he returns from work, Anne, a neighbour, asks him for help in moving some things around in her flat. Anne also introduces him to her sister, Kim. Anne later begs John to babysit Kim while she goes on some errands, and he agrees. What happens next is both shocking and disturbingly erotic. And things only get worse later on, which I’m not even going to mention here, as that would give away too much of the plot. The sisters are depicted as young and sexually available, but also creepy, bordering on insane – for a reason we will realise as the film progresses.

The film moves swiftly, and not for a moment will one find it dragging – Sletaune will have us transfixed to what’s happening on the screen throughout, and the acting in particular by the protagonist is riveting. But I think for the kind of story and screenplay, the depiction of the scenes should have been bolder, which would have been the case had it been a Spanish or Italian film. Even so, this is a very good film, and therefore, Recommended Viewing.

Amazon DVD Link



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