Valhalla Rising (DVD)

Hellboy

Set in the desolate wilderness of Scotland, in 1000 AD, Danish director Winding Refn’s film focuses on the aptly names One Eye (Mikkelsen) a mute and unbeaten warrior of supernatural strength. Murdering his clan captors, and aided by young boy Are (Stevenson), One Eye makes his escape; encountering a group of Christian crusaders, the pair boards a longboat headed to the Holy Lands but, after they lose their way in fog, ends up on unknown shores. Without food or water, and preyed on by the locals, the group search desperately for a way home, led by One Eye whose vision mark him out as a prophet of sorts. As madness descends, an hellish battle for survival ensues.

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New Town Killers (2008)

We’ll live and die in these towns…

The theme of sadism for kicks has become something of a staple in modern cinema – think Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, for example, or Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy. It seems that it’s no longer enough for protagonists to commit heinous acts out of psychological compulsion or desire for revenge; it’s far more chilling to watch people willingly inflict violence on their fellow man for no other reason than to get their kicks. And, although Richard Jobson’s New Town Killers won’t set the British thriller genre alight, it’s certainly a disturbing viewing experience.

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