Title: Det Okända

Also known as:
The Unknown (English title)

Year: 2000

Genre: Horror

Language: Swedish

Runtime: 91 min

Director: Michael Hjorth

Writer: Michael Hjorth & Tomas Tivemark

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243465/

Five biologists are camping out in a burned down forest to investigate the situation further. When they arrive they found a weird, fleshy thing in the ashes and decide to dissect it - but what they have found doesn't resemble anything known to man. Soon the things in the woods are infecting them one by one and they have to figure out who they can trust.

Our thoughts:
Sweden's own little "The Blair Witch Project" is a film I watched back when it came out and actually liked. This time around I can't say it was all that great, but it's certainly not the worst that Sweden has produced. I remembered it being more close to the film they ripped off than it actually was, since it kinda mixes it with parasite movies. It needs to be mentioned that I actually don't hate "The Blair Witch Project" like everyone else seems to do, so I don't think this one really manages to beat that one (this one is more like what the ending of "Blair Witch" is).

Not saying it doesn't share a few things, but the story about a team of biologists who stumble upon some horrid creature that turns people into whatever they are, is fairly different. It's an okay story, it's done in a way where the viewer is very left in the dark. We don't see the things they see (such as things moving inside of the carcass they find) and most of the time we just have to trust their reactions. It's probably a budget thing, so I'm not all that annoyed about it, I just wish that we could've seen at least a few things other than the roasted chicken-like carcass. It does annoy though, that the movie is trying hard to be suspenseful and make us wonder who has "turned" and who hasn't yet we basicly know the second it happens. We just count them down, one by one, up until the ending.

As I said, it's suppose to be a suspense film but when it lacks that, you end up focusing on a whole bunch of other things. Like visible camera crew in shadows. Or the acting that isn't all that great (or maybe I should say the dialog). Not to mention weird decisions and questionable logic, but that's a given in horror movies, of course. The character take a little while to settle in, they feel very stale to begin with I think, but when you know who is who and what their personalities are, it was all that bad.

Instead of going the documentary approach that "The Blair Witch Project" did, this one feels pretty much like a dogma film (without all the strict rules, I mean). The camera is always there with them, and it's really dark and low quality. This was done intentionally, as you can see in the alternative ending where the quality is lots better. It seperates the movie a bit for other films, but it also hides stuff like the creatures and the little blood.

"Det Okända" is by no means a great horror film. It's not terrible by Swedish standards, but I think unless you have a genuine interest in whatever this film has to offer, don't go through the hassle of finding it. If you feel like a low budget so-so woods horror that you probably haven't seen already, sure, give it a spin. You certainly could do worse as well. I am just disappointed that it wasn't at all as creepy as I had remembered, and lacked most of the suspense that it needed to really be a decent horror movie of this kind. But hey, at least it tries to do something interesting.

Positive things:
- Watchable.
- The filmmakers have potential.
- I like that we never got our questions answered.

Negative things:
- Lacks suspense.
- You can always figure out who has "turned" and who hasn't.
- They never show us anything.
- Roasted chicken-like creature carcass.

Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 0.5/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 1/5

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