Film Review: Red Dot

DIRECTED BY: Alain Darborg

STARRING: Nanna Blondell, Anastasios Soulis, Tomas Bergström, Kalled Mustonen, Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Thomas Hanzon and Anna Azcárate

 

SYNOPSIS

When Nadja becomes pregnant, they make an attempt to rekindle their relationship by traveling to the north of Sweden for a hiking trip but soon their romantic trip turns into a nightmare.

Set in the Swedish mountains, the film follows David and Nadja, a couple in their late twenties, who’ve been struggling with their marriage and attempt to rekindle their relationship by deciding to travel to the magnificent expanses in the north of Sweden for a ski hike. But soon their romantic trip slowly turns into a nightmare as red laser dot appears in their tent and they are quickly forced to flee into the cold, unforgiving wilderness.

Red Dot is a Swedish thriller directed by Alain Darborg, who co-wrote the screenplay alongside Per Dickson. The film focuses on David and Nadja, a couple who have recently been struggling with their marriage. At a time when Nadja learns that she’s pregnant, David attempts to rekindle their relationship by organising a trip to the north of Sweden for a ski hike. But after what started as a quarrel with two local hunters, their trip slowly turns into a nightmare as a red dot appears in their tent during the night and they are quickly forced to flee into the cold, unforgiving wilderness.

 

Before we follow David and Najda through their nightmare of a hike, the film gives a glimpse into their relationship as at his graduation ceremony, David rather awkwardly tries to propose to Nadja through a phonecall to a local radio station which doesn’t go according to plan but there’s a humorous and sweet exchange between the two as she says yes. Now, their marriage is somewhat strained as when they’re not constantly working, the little time they do have together they appear to be arguing over things that lead to one of them walking way. On the way to their ski hike we get an impression of what they are like as individuals. David appears to be timid from getting involved in any kind of confrontation and being somewhat lackadaisical when it comes to apologising for something that is his fault. Meanwhile Nadja appears to be the total opposite in that regard, as we see how she retaliates against a few locals who vandalise and write a racist message on their car. The films opening act is finely paced, giving the viewer background into these characters to follow and root through their ordeal as they hike and camp out for the night and are startled by a red dot on the tent and become hunted by an unknown assailant or assailants, as they can’t tell due to the wintery conditions and environment around them.

 

The thriller is well directed by Alain Darborg, with some really good artistry from the makeup department and how they touch up the characters appearing more frail the longer the hunt goes on trying to survive in such a harsh environment, while Benjam Orre’s cinematography captures some lovely imagery of the landscape. The performances from the co-leads, Nanna Blondell and Anastasios Soulis, are good, particularly Blondell. The film has a lot of tricks up its sleeve in how it tests David and Nadja survival skills but even with its short runtime of an hour and twenty-five minutes, it does feel like it runs out of momentum when we arrive in the final act and certain things come to light.

 

VERDICT

Red Dot is a film with a simple premise that’s executed into a decent thriller with good performances from co-leads Nanna Blondell and Anastasios Soulis.

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