When Animals Dream
Directed by Jonas Alexander Arnby
The young woman, Marie, is an outsider in the small coastal community where she has grown up. The townspeople live in fear of her and not least her mother, who is wheelchair bound, suffering from a mysterious illness. When Marie discovers her body changing – long hair growing on her chest and back – she begins searching for answers concerning her family’s hidden past. Something that will have great consequences for herself and her family – and the choices she has to make.
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★★★★ review by Kevin Wight on Letterboxd
There is something about the Scandinavian scenery that just makes it perfect for horror, and When Animals Dream utilises its setting's natural eerieness to great effect.
Taking its visual cues from modern Scandi-noir, and filtering its horror through the existential lens of Bergman and the coming of age feel of Let the Right One In, Jonas Alexander Arnby's film is a low-key somber werewolf tale.
Young Marie is becoming aware of her sexuality, and is also developing a rash accompanied by thick, dark hair. This appears to have some link with her mother's (Sonia Richter) debilitating, paralysing illness. Above this, there seems to be some unspoken collusion between her father (Lars Mikkelson) and the family doctor.
It is a sweet and lyrical tale with a great turn from Sonia Suhl as Marie, that allows its horror to develop slowly. My ex, with whom I saw the film (we're cool like that) also made the very cogent comparison with Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves, both in its themes of male control over women's bodies and the sinister hidden nature of a small community.
It is beautifully acted has a haunting and bleak beauty, and is a rich and deep experience. Perhaps not your average crowd-pleasing festival flick, this is nontheless a really rather excellent little film.
★★★★ review by Antonio Quintero on Letterboxd
Watched it at Fantastic Fest 2014
My surprise movie at the festival. I thought this was just going to be a horror movie about a girl becoming a werewolf, but no this movie is about a supernatural coming of age movie. This feels like a side story in the xmen universe. One day this girl might end up in xavier's school for gifted children.
The movie is about a girl that its starting to notice that she growing hair and claws in her body. The people in her community start treating her like garbage and doing all this bad pranks to her. At the beginning she is a loner that is trying to hide her new abilitites, but later she just use her new abilities to show her rebellion to her community and give them a big middle finger. There is also cute love story between her and a young man town that is the only one not disgusted by her change. Their romance is like beauty and the beast in reverse. This is one of the movies were you are rooting for the monster. Everyone in town are evil bastards. I give great praise to the lead actress as she plays her arch of fearing her powers and then learning to accept them. She still looks beautiful with all the make up FX they put on her.
Its a beautiful tale of teen life and romance. One of my favorite of the festival.
★★★★ review by col_plimp on Letterboxd
Mit diesem sehr atmospärischen Mix aus Coming of Age-Drama und Horror hatte ich einen sehr guter Start in meinen Horrorctober; wobei man Horror aber eher kleinschreiben sollte.
Die Hey-mein-Körper-verändert-sich-Story (mit einem kleinem Twist) selbst ist sehr einfach und für einen richtigen Horrorstreifen gibts deutlich zu wenig Blut; ABER der Film ist ziemlich stilsicher inszeniert - vom nordisch-unterkühltem Setting über die guten digitalen Effekte bis zum tollen Soundtrack.
Die insgesamt sehr ruhige Art passt bestens und erzeugt schön schaurige Momente bis zu dem leider leicht enttäuschendem Ende.
"LET THE RIGHT ONE IN - Jetzt wird puberTIERT"
★★★½ review by Ashy_Slashy on Letterboxd
I chose this randomly while searching on Netflix. I almost didn’t because I think the cover looks stupid, but I’m glad I did.
A dark, Scandinavian coming of age tale. Marie, who is becoming a young woman, discovers an odd rash accompanied by some hair growth. What she doesn’t know is that it is much more than that. Marie slowly unravels the secrets of her family, her mother’s mysterious disability, as well as her own inherited traits.
This is a slow burn monster movie, which are generally some of my favorites. You could say this is somewhat equivalent to the werewolf version of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Not nearly as good as that, but werewolf movies rarely are so some unknown reason.
The acting IS really good though. Sonia Suhl’s performance is great, and she really knows how to turn on the charm and confidence. But I was even more compelled by her father, played by Lars Mikkelsen. He was completely believable and really tore at my heart strings.
Overall I really liked this movie and I don’t know what I would personally change to improve it, but I did feel it was somehow a little lacking.
★★★½ review by sydney on Letterboxd
how to gut fish, live in a beautiful and unforgiving place, dance to electro-pop-whatever in slow-motion (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRRVaENNtAg), make a sacred hiding spot out of something dirty & forgotten, solve the mystery of yourself, and love someone when they are at their most unlovable.
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