28 Oct 2020: 'Cadaver': A well-cooked plot sprinkled with shock served to viewers
What kind of thoughts cross your mind when you think of the word cadaver? It means corpse, so you are bound to expect blood and gore.
But, that isn't how this Norwegian horror film treats your imagination. It's all the pent-up anger a filmmaker has, to create a horror movie out of it.
So, what is Cadaver all about? Let's cut to the chase.
The environment: A post-apocalyptic Norway where bodies keep dropping here and there
The film is good.
And this review will be short, because there is simply nothing more to speak about it other than praises.
Director-writer Jerand Herdal wants us to travel to a post-apocalyptic Norway, where people live in fear and there's hardly anything to eat.
Bodies keep dropping here and there; flies hover over those rotten corpses while people keep looking away.
Protagonists: Meet the heroes, the couple - Leonara and Jacob
The film starts with a few kids playing around in a dimly-lit hall, full of piles of clothes.
Leonara, played by Gitte Witt and Jacob, played by Thomas Gullestad, are a couple really concerned about the safety of their daughter, Alice.
They are the sort of parents who ask their kids to go play elsewhere once the kid spots a choking sound nearby.
Eerie turn: Consider this sinister dialogue: "They should see cruelty too"
They know things are off and Jacob, the father, hesitates to accept a paid invitation to a theater group to watch a play.
Leonara reasons that children like Alice desperately need entertainment and that there will be good food.
They queue to buy tickets.
The vendor warns against letting children in but Mathias, the play director, intervenes and says, "They should see cruelty too."
The condition: No mask when an actor slits his throat before you!
The play starts with a disclaimer by Mathias, who welcomes the audience already munching on sumptuous spreads in a hotel.
His condition is simple.
There are masks kept on every dinner table. Those who wear them identify as the audience. Those who don't, are considered actors in the play.
But you can't keep your mask on when an actor slits his throat before you!
And then..: Artful violence: What happens when you are unmasked?
If you remove your mask under any circumstance, you are on your own.
That's what the couple realized when they suddenly lost Alice who was just doing her job, which is following the clues left by a lead character of the play.
Slowly, the hotel, which in itself is the stage for the play becomes a sinister factory filled with booby traps.
Analysis: Our verdict: This 86-minute-long horror deserves a 3.5/5
One clue: If people are starving outside and killed during the play, how does the audience keep having good food?
This vicious system is tastefully presented in the film.
There are jump-scares that would stir only the attentive audience.
The string score by Jonathan Sigsworth keeps you helpless.
The mystery is solved at the right moment and so, this 86-minute-long horror deserves a 3.5/5.