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DVD Review

DVD cover

Psalm 21


Starring: Jonas Malmsjö, Niklas Falk and Björn Bengtsson
Revolver Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 30 May 2011

A priest from Stockholm, loved by his tight-knit congregation and adored by his young housekeeper/babysitter, nevertheless finds it almost impossible to make a connection with his son. When he receives the shocking news of his father’s (also a priest) sudden death, he drives to the location, only to break down and reluctantly be put up by a strangely unsettled family, who would appear to know more about the death than they are letting on. When holding a service back in his own church, he would always read Psalm 21, relating to the non-existence of hell. He had always remembered it being taught to him by his father. However, in this new community Psalm 21 is entirely different. As he attempts to discover the truth about his father, the priest is visited by seemingly demonic apparitions. But are they simply trying to tell him something.

This is a film which evolves through a handful of styles and moods. At the beginning it feels very much like Let the Right One In, and not simply because it originates from the same part of the world. The storyline is completely different. It starts with the investigation of a death, then incorporates a strand of vengeance. Very soon it becomes a haunting in the highly successful Japanese style, before finally exploring the characters and particularly the psyches of the main players. It will be no surprise to anyone that the faith and beliefs of the priest are stripped bare, and that he is changed by his entire experience to the point that he shocks his own loyal flock with his new ideas.

At the root of this story is a very dark deed. The plot metamorphoses constantly around it, keeping the film fresh and interesting. It doesn’t go the way you might expect, and you enjoy the fun of deciding who’s innocent and who might be dangerous. There is a particular character who is so helpful it’s just obvious that he’s up to something. But he’s merely misguided, which appears very genuine, because none of our actions or motives are simply black or white - but rather many shades in between. The extras on the disc sings the praises of the special effects by giving examples of the haunting composites; however, I would much preferred to have seen a documentary which journeyed from concept to screen.


Ty Power

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