Saturday, October 23, 2021

#2,646. When Animals Dream (2014)


Marie (Sonia Suhi), a shy teenager, lives in a small fishing village with her father Thor (Lars Mikklesen) and wheelchair-bound mother (Sonja Richter).

The recent discovery of a rash on Marie’s chest coincides with several unexplained murders, and it soon becomes obvious that Thor is hiding a dark secret, one that might explain why Marie’s mother is catatonic and why Marie herself is undergoing a very frightening change.

We realize early on in When Animals Dream that Thor knows more than he’s letting on about Marie’s “condition”, but what’s even more interesting is that the entire town also seems to be in on it; there are arguments between Thor and angry locals, whose “concerns” seem to center on Marie’s mother (a woman so far gone at this point that she can’t even feed herself anymore).

Director Jonas Alexander Arnby drops hints throughout When Animals Dream that Marie is changing, transforming from a meek girl into an aggressive young woman, and the film’s remote setting works to the story’s advantage, enhancing its lead character’s sense of isolation.

When Animals Dream is a slow burn horror movie for most of its runtime (centering more on the mystery surrounding Marie’s family), but takes off in the final act, culminating in a sequence set aboard a fishing boat that you won’t soon forget.
Rating: 9 out of 10

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