Post image for DVD Review: THOSE WHO KILL [DEN SOM DRÆBER] (MHz Releasing)

by Dale Reynolds on August 2, 2019



Here comes the Danish version of the newly named “Scandi Noir” or “Nordic Noir,” a genre of crime fiction set in the Scandinavia countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Greenland (although the last one is run by the Kingdom of Denmark); this genre would seem to reflect the nature of light in those countries as it can extend to the northern polar regions.

The bitter cold of winter is dark, of course, and the summery warmth is light; easy enough to follow. But their “noir” (French for “black” or “dark”) means that sometimes the crime — mostly murder, often grotesque — is tough to watch. And that’s the value of this 2011 (one season only) cop show, Those Who Kill. (The American version screened in 2014.)

The excitement starts with the strong scripts by nine writers and telling direction by three directors for the twelve episodes. The entire series concerns a different serial killer for each episode — their methodology, their psychosis, and their influence on the brave police force, beginning with a female detective, Katrine (an astonishing Laura Bach), suffering from emotional problems brought on by childhood sexual abuse, and a capable, if fragile, forensic psychiatrist, Thomas (Jacob Cedergren). Complicating their ability to follow “gut-level” intuitions is their by-the-book boss, Magnus Bisgaard (veteran Lars Mikklesen).

In the stories — a combination of grit, insight, fear, and emotional understanding of each killer — the creative team for this series has built a knowing art-form of full-blooded intelligence, tension and enjoyment. Directors Kasper Barfoed, Niels Nørløv Hansen and Birger Larsen and the cinematography of the dark, forbidding (and lovely) country and cities involved makes it all tingle and shine with beauty, even as we revel in the Danish police-procedures.  Trust it, you won’t be bored watching the entire series again and again.

Those Who Kill (Den som dræber)
MHz Releasing
3 discs | 12 episodes | 522 minutes | not rated
released on January 29, 2019
available at MHz Releasing or Amazon

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