LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 11/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ole Bornedal's original 1994 Nightwatch has his 1998 American remake beat, hands down. The original is so much more restrained and controlled, the tautness of it practically hits you in the face. Unlike Nick Nolte's unabashedly hammy performance, the actor who plays the investigating cop here keeps a lid on his emotions and so his character is infinitely more credible. The pacing is tighter, the acting is just sparse enough--and therefore supremely effective--and the suspense, based on this minimalistic perspective, is that much more palpable.The story of a young law student taking a job as a hospital morgue attendant, and subsequently encountering strange goings-on, including the appearance of the bodies of some suddenly dead girls--this film is justifiably counted as a top European thriller. Martin, the law student, is taunted by his buddy to engage in some pretty unconventional stunts; the convergence of Martin's experiences in the morgue with his ever-increasing out-of-control actions leads ultimately to a horrific confrontation.It was interesting to see that Ewan McGregor, who played Martin in the remake, is amazingly close in appearance to the Danish actor playing the same role. McGregor was OK, but there again, he tended on occasion--no doubt pandering to American audiences--to emote just a bit too much. And rather than suffer through another of Josh Brolin's performances, catch Kim Bodnia as Martin's buddy. He shines. There is really no comparison. This is the movie to watch, not the '98 remake."
Do not see the American Version....
Russell Wayne Brown | TX United States | 10/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"if you have and thought it was only OK but could have been better than see this...the better version. This movie out shines the remake big time. The Acting here is so much more convinceing (at least I think so...they talk Dutch) and I felt scared when the nightwatchman was scared...he's kinda buff, so I felt like he could whoop butt unlike the sissy american actor so when was scared I was.The direction in this version was better because it gives you the feeling someone is alway watching you and a more clastrphobic feel to this version that the american one lacks.See this if you want a good mystery/suspence/thriller for a movie going experiance.WARINING:
If you hate subtitles then stay clear."
A gem of a thriller
Asger Chandler | Kahului, HI USA | 04/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has it all. It makes you shiver, it has a great plot, that I wont spoil, a great(!!) soundtrack (in English) and superior humour. The American version with Nick Nolte did not do any great favours for Ole Bornedal or this movie. OK so it is a Danish movie, where the spoken lanuage is Danish. If you can read, then you may still watch this great movie as it has subtitles in English."
Makes the 1998 remake look like junk
man_invisible | Dork, PA | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you were a fan of "Nightwatch," the 1998 movie released through Dimension Films (the same company that cursed us with the "Scream" trilogy) and concerning the exploits of a necrophiliac serial killer who menaces a law student during his shift as nightwatchman at a lonley medical building, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor to check out writer-director Ole Bornedal's 1994 original (in Danish w/English subtitles).It's puzzling to think why a thriller so fluid in pacing, atmospheric in fright and tight in story would need to be remade in the first place, but the only reason I can think of is: To make it more accessible to an American audience. Bob & Harvey Weinstein probably put a huge sum of cash in front of Bornedal's face and told him: "Remake your movie, shot by shot, line by line, but...for the kids! For the 'hip' crowd, let Steven Soderbergh collaborate on the script!" All of this sunk the remake of "Nightwatch" like a lead balloon. The result came off as clunky, belabored, and soulless--a disjointed attempt to allow style to trample substance, without much success. Good performances from Josh Brolin and Nick Nolte couldn't cover up the overall triviality of the whole project.Now finally, after years of deliberation (on Miramax's part, I'm guessing), the gods of video at Anchor Bay have released the 1994 original and it's nothing short of stunning. Digitally remastered with a pseudo-letterbox presentation, this is art-house Euro-horror shown in its purest form. Bornedal's vision clearly foreshadowed David Fincher's subsequent 1995 masterpiece, "Seven," and carved out a space in the popular serial-killer subgenre.What's unfortunate about the original "Nightwatch" being released to video is that persons who saw the remake will pretty much see all the events in advance because the scripts--I kid you not--are nearly identical. Even so, the nuances of this version--atmosphere, acting, pace--are so incredibly top-notch that the 1998 film will become an easily-dismissable afterthought.If you're looking for a foreign horror film without the exploitation trimmings, "Nightwatch" is one of the best out there."
Terrifying atmosphere in the morgue...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 02/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A law student, Martin, wants to make it on his own without the help from his mother, which leads him to acquire a night job in a morgue. It is a job that keeps Martin on his toes as he is fearful of the atmosphere with the dead people around him. During one of Martin's night shifts the police bring in a victim from a serial-killer, and strange occurrences begin to happen in the morgue. Can these occurrences have something to do with Martin's dare-game that he is playing with his friend Jens, who also is a law student, or is it something else that is after him. Nightwatch is a suspenseful film that uses camera angles that maximize the situational terror and push the audience to experience the same fear that Martin is experiencing in the film. This leaves the audience with a cinematic happening that produces chills and horror, and which is of good quality."