In Partnership With MUBI: The Kingdom Exodus – Lars von Trier’s Surreal Horror Series Premieres On MUBI

The Kingdom Exodus

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Prepare to submerge yourself in the surreal, sepia-toned world of Denmark’s Rigshospitalet, aka. the Kingdom – one of cinema’s most visionary filmmakers, Lars von Trier, is returning to the small screen. A brand new instalment of his paranormal comedy-horror series, The Kingdom Exodus, is coming to MUBI, and Empire are delighted to be partnering with the streaming service to offer you a free 30-day trial!

Much like David Lynch coming back to TV with Twin Peaks: The Return, this new five-part series is von Trier returning to the world of The Kingdom, nearly 30 years after the cult classic show first aired. Not only will the new episodes be available on MUBI from 27 November, but newly remastered, never-seen-before versions of the two previous series, The Kingdom I & II, are also now streaming on the service. For fans of shows like Twin PeaksThe X Files and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, this is not to be missed.

The Kingdom Exodus is a gloriously meta continuation of von Trier’s genre-bending ghost story about the Kingdom hospital. Built on top of the old bleaching ponds in Copenhagen, it’s a place where evil forces seep into the lives of the doctors and patients, and medical science faces a daily struggle with itself. This new series is a fresh start for the tale – watching The Kingdom I & II isn’t required – and it stars Bodil Jørgensenas Karen Svensson, an elderly woman suffering with sleep-walking and a desire to talk to the spirits, who checks into the now-infamous Neurosurgical department.

Mikael Persbrandt (who you might recognise most recently from Sex Education) plays Helmer Jr. – son of original Attending Physician Helmer, (played by Ernst-Hugo Järegård in The Kingdom I & II) he joins thehospital’s staff, bringing the same level of disruption and disdain for the Danish way of doing things as his father did in the 1994 series. Alexander Skarsgård and Willem Dafoe also appear in some seriously scene-stealing moments, with Skarsgård playing the son of his real-life father Stellan’s character in The Kingdom II.

It’s not long before Helmer Jr. is drawn into the outrageous, anarchic antics of the Kingdom, including a drinking game that rapidly gets out of hand, a nickname he’s really not happy about, and plenty more. The delightfully absurd, darkly comedic tone established in The Kingdom I & II is happily present in Exodus, as are the opening titles and von Trier’s closing address to the audience (this time delivered via voiceover), and a supernatural streak provides an added layer of mystery and intrigue.

The Kingdom Exodus is a return to filmmaking for Lars von Trier, whose last project was 2018’s visceral, violent serial killer thriller The House That Jack Built. With a filmography including the meditative Melancholia, provocative Nymphomaniac and boundary-pushing Antichrist, von Trier is one of the most distinctive voices in arthouse and international cinema, and the re-release of The Kingdom I & II, plus the premiere of new series The Kingdom Exodus, is a chance to see a lighter, funnier side of one of the medium’s most extraordinary voices. As von Trier himself said in the original series, whilst the credits were rolling: “be prepared to take the good with the evil”.

Lars von Trier’s five-part series The Kingdom Exodus premieres on MUBI from 27 November, with episodes dropping on the service weekly in the run-up to Christmas. The restored and remastered versions of The Kingdom I & II are streaming now. Empire readers can enjoy a free 30-day trial of MUBI to watch The Kingdom Exodus, as well as their vast selection of movies – click here to sign up now. The gate to the Kingdom is opening once more – we dare you to step inside…

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