Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko, Sonja Petäjäjärvi, Vilhelmiina Virkkunen
Director: Antti-Jussi Annila
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
A chilling horror film, SAUNA explores the space between Christianity and paganism. The year 1595- a long and brutal war is finally over. Brothers Knut and Erik- who are part of a commission marking the border between Finl... more »
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Good creepy atmosphere, but slow
The Tao of Netflix | Washington, DC | 10/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Interesting foreign language film (subtitles) based on a late 1500s storyline of a joint Finnish/Russian expedition working to define the border between their two countries. As they walk the actual disputed line, they commit a few unchoice acts that come back to haunt them, and also discover a village that is not on any map. Eerie things follow (trying to avoid giving a spoiler).
Overall, this was generally enjoyable. The mood maintains a dreary and eerie feeling throughout, but perhaps too much. It almost never lets up, as strange acts continue and the actors engage in several savage acts. This could be a negative; the story unendingly plods through dark territory with interspersed horror moments that more abruptly arise rather than be built up. Also, its kinda slow. The story unfolds somewhat discontinuously (which, at times, is very well done), but generally it moves from one slowly developed scene to another, all of which are more notable for the human-human brutality (which is more often implied than actually shown) than the paranormal horror."
Closer to a Nightmare than the Real Thing
The Blood of Roses | Florida | 08/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every once in a while I manage to find a dvd that is absolutely worth viewing-this is one among them. I have watched this dvd six times already, and each time the sense of the horror becomes more and more pronounced. The dvd is in the same meld as Bergman's Hour of the Wolf, or The Serpent's Egg, or The Seventh Seal, (the lead actor, Ville Virtanen, has resemblence to Max Von Sydow.) yet laying out the psychological horror far more explicitly and unrelentingly, finally at the end spilling it forth without restraint in the emotionally raw screams and yells that are totally nightmarish (one thinks of the final revelation in Heart of Darkness, when Kurtz utters his final words, " The horror. The horror!"). This dvd is a the telling of a story with the elements of horrific nightmares - it certainly does clinch the viewer, and by the end, you are left starring at the screen with these screams sinking into your mind. Excellent!!!
I won't spoil it for you; but, the period allegory is a condemnation of modern political government which requires giving up one's soul to the State. This story is pretty deep with a clear existential thread running throughout, posing questions which every individual will someday have to answer. It is a story of the social, individual and spiritual consequences of war, the fragmentation of identity, of memory for the sake of survival, and more deeply, the soul, leaving the individual a moral invalid - inhuman. There is no salvation from having to face one's own inhumanity to others, eventually one must face the moments of his lack of compassion and concern for the welfare of others! Very fatalistic - just buy it, rent it, and enjoy this experience of a nightmare the message of which is as relevant today as for any historical period."
V. Jarratt | USA | 01/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Saw this movie trailer on YouTube and it immediately captured my interest!! It took forever to come to stores to buy and I had to really look all over town to find it. Sauna is trully a sinister and gothic movie. Everything is so dark and gloomy as well as the character brothers Eerik and Knut. Even though Eerik looks harmless with his glasses and quiet demeanor, he is unpredictable and dangerous. The other parts that scared me a little were of the woman spirit that would haunt Knut in different parts of the movie. For anyone who enjoys foreign films and doesn't mind the subtitles, I would recommend this film. A.J Annila is like M. Night Shyamalan in the sense of how his films are a little intriguing but interesting and different."
A period existential horror piece
P. Fillion | Freeport, ME USA | 04/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remarkable in its abilty to immerse one in a cloying atmosphere of foreboding and dread. Most of the film's eeriest vibes are masterfully crafted through dialogue, as opposed to hollow jump scares and viscera. To simplify: Tarkovsky(Stalker, in particular) via J-Horror tropes. By raising more questions than it answers, it ultimately lingers with the viewer; a feat achieved, no doubt, by the director's design. Production values, photography and performances are all of high caliber. Certainly not a film for the ADD multiplex crowd, though..."