|MOVIE DETAILS |
• Name: Leave
• Year: 2022
• Country: Norway
• Director: Alex Herron
• Main cast: Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Stig R. Amdam, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Morten Holst
• Runtime: 106 minutes
• Production company: Duper Studio, Fuglefjellet, Mediefondet Zefyr, Ministi Film, Norsk Filminstitutt, Trollbound Entertainment
Norwegian filmmaker Alex Herron has built for himself a very solid career as a music videos director working for international artists like Green Day, Airbourne, Blink 182, Architects, BabyMetal, Deftones, Eagles of Death Metal, or Romanian electronic singer Inna. With that background, there is no surprise that he chose for his debut feature film as a director a theme related to the music lifestyle, even if it’s only a superficial part of the story.
Leave (2022) starts with a newborn baby being abandoned at a cemetery in the USA wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, an inverted cross necklace, and the flyers for some Norwegian black metal band that was on tour in the city that very night. And when the girl reaches her 20s she has the need to find her family and roots and tracks her origins and heritage as Norwegian. From there, young Hunter starts a trip that will take her to meet some of her relatives but also unveils an intrigue of lies, family secrets, murder, and religious fanatism.
The character played by Alicia von Rittberg, a German-born actress that has participated in European and American movies like Resistance (2020), Balloon (2018), Godless Youth (2017), and Fury (2014), is the guiding thread of the movie being present in pretty much all the scenes. And we as the audience share the trip with her. She is brave and determined to find out the truth of her origins, the mysterious death of her mother, and the curse following her lineage. She will stop at nothing, no matter the language barrier, who is locked in mental institutions, or what crazy religious mumbo-jumbo she might have to deal with.
This is a suspenseful thriller with horror elements wrapped up in cold and dark but beautiful cinematography and an intriguing plot that keeps the attention from the very first instant until the final climax. The story written by Thomas Moldestad, who was one of the minds behind one of the most notorious Norwegian horror movies from this century Cold Prey (aka Fritt vilt) (2006), is plagued with surprises and unexpected twists. And the director Alex Herron is at all times surrounded by a group of actors who perfectly carried on with their characters.
Leave (2022) is a solid movie, suspenseful and with well-paced frights, that is not pretentious or defiant but there resides its natural power. A great debut for a filmmaker that knew what he wanted to do and let the story flow without surpluses or forced efectivism. Available on Shudder on March 17, 2023.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt18073066