In 1960, four campers were killed in their tents at Lake Bodom. Many years later, a group of friends decide to head out into the woods and camp at the same lake. The night quickly takes a dark turn when it seems something is still out there in the woods.
The murders that happened at Bodom in 1960 is perhaps not the most notorious incident that has occured, but because it involved a killer going loose on campers in the middle of the woods it awakes a common fear in people. You know when you're laying in a tent at night and you hear something outside? You're helpless in a tent with a killer outside of it. The difference here is that it's not Jason or a scary witch, it's a real event that occured. The Bodom murders have been part of many songs by Children of Bodom, but this new horror movie from Finland is the first movie I have seen based on it.
Now, when I say that "Bodom" is based on the murders, it actually only acknowledges the backstory has being true, it's not a retelling of them. It's set in modern day and is about a group of friends who go out to the same lake. The two guys lure two girls with them into the woods for some fun, lying that they'll be sleeping in a nice cabin with other friends. Truth is, they're alone out there, and there is no cabin. As night falls, they hear something in the woods. When two of them go out to look into it, the two in the tent are attacked.
What needs to be said here, without spoiling it, is that things are not quite as they seem. The first 30 minutes are exactly what you expect going in, but then they decide to twist things around quite a bit. As much as I enjoy things not going as I expect, the movie's strongest moments are all within the first 30 minutes. The movie builds a great atmosphere thanks to being really well shot. Even when the movie does what you expect, it's intriguing. Sure, it's just a typical slasher, but somehow knowing that similar events occured back in 1960 makes it a lot more exciting. But after the first 30 minutes, a lot of dumb decisions are made which completely killed all thrills for me. Most things that the characters do at this point are illogical and annoying. The whole plot falls apart. I just didn't care anymore.
The movie does remain very well made, the effects and action shots are all solid, and the actors are surprisingly great. It's just unfortunate that the script had to mess it up. It could have been a very realistic and dark slasher movie, but it goes from that to some sort of "Wolf Creek" and "Haute Tension" hybrid. Though it is worth mentioning that it does not share the latter's twist.
Because of all the above, my opinion of "Bodom" is split. I appreciate watching well-crafted movies from the neighboring countries to Sweden, but I can't excuse its flaws. There is definitely some exciting things going on, but it's just not as good as it could have been. The location of Bodom seems to just be a coincidence rather than a good vehicle for the movie.
You should watch the movie for being a decent horror entry from Finland, rather than wanting to watch a good movie. There is always an incentive for me to watch movies from other countries than the "most common" (US, UK, Japan, France, Spain etc.) because you never know what talents and inspirations you'll find. "Bodom" is what it is, it's up to you if you want to watch it or not.