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Published June 27, 2003

However, the film soon snaps out of this, and we seem to enter familiar horror film territory. It’s all here, a rain soaked motel, a serial killer on the loose, an Indian graveyard, a spooky kid and, of course, the obligatory whiners with gruesome deaths written all over them. But then the twists just keep on coming, yet this is neither Pet Cemetery meets Psycho, nor The Sixth Sense meets Pulp Fiction. It’s more like a combination of the four.
Ray Liotta seems, like his other co-stars from Goodfellas, to have boycotted good films since then, so it’s refreshing to see him in something that isn’t absolutely dreadful. Rebecca De Mornay doesn’t survive long, but Amanda Peet, after this and the excellent Changing Lanes, might turn out to be something more than just another pretty blonde. John Cusack is one of the most dependable actors of the last decade, and this might not be one of his highlights, but neither is it a disappointment. And director James Mangold makes the film he probably should have made right after Copland.
Five minutes before the ending, I found myself really liking the film. The biggest plot twist of all turns out to be the idea that the clinically insane should not be executed, which is a somewhat revolutionary idea in a Hollywood film. But then we get one plot twist too many, and of course said insane person, on his way to the hospital, starts killing people, giving you once more the tried and tested moral that the criminally insane should be killed off right away, preferably without trial, since any attempt to give them a second hearing will undoubtedly lead to slaughter. Disappointing, then, at the very end, but until then, considerably better than your average fare.



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Movies & Theatre
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Horse Manoeuvre

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Benedikt Erlingsson’s theatrical debut is a mosaic of several stories that centre on people’s colourful relationships with their horses. The film, ‘Of Horses And Men,’ which came out in late August of last year, has received glowing reviews from critics and it has picked up several awards on the festival circuit, such as the Kutxa-New Directors awards at the San Sebastián Film Festival, and the Best Director Award, at the Tokyo Film Festival. We spoke with Benedikt about his love for storytelling, cinema and horses. Why did you decide to make a film about horses? When you’re starting out in

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A Hard Metal Life

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Young Hera, played by Þorbjörg Helga Dýrfjörð, witnesses the accidental death of her older brother, Baldur. In response, she remakes herself in his image; she adopts his metal music, clothes, and when we see her in her 20s, she is a full-blown metalhead. Despite nearly a decade since the tragedy, the death of Baldur continues to loom over her and her family, their lives consumed by grief. Her mother and father have internalised their grief, manifesting itself in silences and coldness to one another. Though Hera hardly talks about it either, her outlet for all that pain is through her

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Cool Off With Cool Cuts

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In the four years since Bíó Paradís opened, the cinema has become a hub for Icelandic independent films as well as others that would not be shown elsewhere. In 2010, Programme Director Ása Baldursdóttir started ‘Cool Cuts,’ a summer series of Icelandic films with English subtitles. Though certainly a boon for tourists interested in Icelandic cinema, she also believes it is an important addition to Reykjavík’s cultural landscape. What was the idea behind creating Cool Cuts? Our idea was to strengthen the visibility of Icelandic filmmaking to English speakers with the best Icelandic films. We think it’s a great addition

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Real ‘Life In A fishbowl’

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‘Life In A Fishbowl’ tells three distinct stories of people living in pre-crisis Iceland. It stars Hera Hilmarsdóttir as Eik, a down on her luck kindergarten teacher who struggles to support her daughter; Þorsteinn Bachmann as Móri, a troubled writer; and Þorvaldur Davíð as Sölvi, an ex-footballer on the fast-track working for a bank doing some shady business. Director Baldvin Z teamed up with writer/musician Birgir Örn (of the band Maus) to write the screenplay for ‘Vonarstræti’ (‘Life In A Fishbowl’). It’s a follow up to his debut feature ‘Jitters’ (2010). Even though Baldvin has directed commercials, two feature films

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Uh, No

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Man, fuck Darren Aronofsky. Fuck his weak, hacky, hammy, pretentious, melodramatic, student-filmmaking-with-a-budget shit. I’ve always been mystified as to how it is he gets people to buy his overdone soap opera crap as serious film, but I’m confident ‘Noah’–a retelling of the renowned Biblical yarn with all the animals on the boat, shot largely in Iceland–will finally be his undoing; it will expose his shoddily constructed ‘films’ for what they are: overwrought and overrated pandering to fad-driven art-house wannabes who are too impatient for genuine counterculture film, but too proud to admit they’d rather be watching a Michael Bay movie. 

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Movies & Theatre
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The Wolf Of Borgartún

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“Fuck the bankers who stole my money.” “Fuck the bankers who stole my money.” “I will make it all back and then some.” “I will make it all back and then some.” A couple hundred Icelanders have risen from their seats in Háskólabíó to repeat after Jordan Belfort, the “Wolf of Wall Street,” the high-living penny stock wizard and white-collar felon turned reformed, sober guru of sales, entrepreneurship and “ethical persuasion.” Following the recent Scorsese/DiCaprio adaptation of Belfort’s memoir–a cautionary tale, but one which does not undersell the appeal of drug-fueled financial-sector dick-swinging–tickets for his Reykjavík appearance, in early May,

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