Nightwatch Review

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In order to finance his law studies, Martin starts as a night watchman in a mortuary. When the victims of a serial killer of prostitutes are deposited there, scary things begin to happen.


Given that Denmark’s successful exports so far have been limited to bacon, pastry and quite possibly the best lager on the planet, it’s heartening that this celluloid offering is a quality venture.
A dimly lit morgue wouldn’t ordinarily seem the ideal venue for the nocturnal hours, but law student Martin (Waldau) plumps for the job of nightwatchman in order to get some work done in surrounds that are “dead quiet”. At the same time, a distinctly dubious game of challenges with best friend Jens (Bodina) brings Martin into contact with call-girl Joyce (Rikkie Loise Anderson). However, things turn nasty when a serial killer with a penchant for prostitutes provides the morgue with another inmate and the unnerved Martin begins to doubt his own sanity. Which ushers him swiftly into the number one spot, as far as suspects go.
With a low budget, subtitles and voices somewhat reminiscent of the chef from the muppets, the fact this still imbues a large dose of the willies is testament to the skill of both director and cast. Bornedal makes the most of his macabre setting with long, creepy corridors and dark, forbidding rooms, either steeped in gloom or lit by an intermittent fluorescent tube. Newcomer Waldau gives a fine display of escalating fear, and Pilgaard is equally good as the grim, relentless police inspector.
Although the storyline isn’t blindingly original, it throws up enough red herrings to make for an effective psychological thriller with a suitably eerie atmosphere. With a release date nicely times for Friday 13, Nightwatch will have many a viewer scurrying home to the calming properties of a bacon butty and a cold beer. Probably.

Really scary stuff