Title: Sensoria

Also known as:

Year: 2015

Genre: Horror / Thriller / Drama

Language: Swedish

Runtime: 81 min

Director: Christian Hallman

Writer: Christian Hallman & Måns F.G. Thunberg

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4419596/

Caroline lost everything when her boyfriend broke up with her. She's moving into a new apartment, and she's falling into depression. But something is not right in her new home. There is something else there. When she befriends a young girl she's soon to be aware of another presence there.

Our thoughts:
Christian Hallman is perhaps not the most known filmmaker in Sweden, but many of us are aware of his documentary "Desperately Seeking Seka". His new film, "Sensoria", is not quite the same as a documentary about finding someone in the adult film industry: it's a classic ghost story. That it's a ghost story is both a blessing and a curse, because I think that every Swede is curious about whatever horror movies come out of this country, but at the same time we don't have a track record of good horror. In fact, when it comes to ghosts/supernatural, we are pretty fucking terrible. It's either make something completely stupid and half-assed, or it is completely unimaginative and unoriginal. It's too bad that "Sensoria" also fits into one of these two (the latter).

After having been left by her boyfriend, who took pretty much everything they owned, Caroline wants to start fresh in a new apartment. Despite feeling depressed over being in her late thirties and having to start over with life, she's trying her hardest not to think about it. A young girl in the apartment building helps her with the laundry, and the two start to see each other more often. Caroline is unaware of the past of this place, and the kid is part of it.

I hoped for something interesting with "Sensoria". Something that movies like "Marianne" didn't succeed with. Unfortunately, what we got was pretty much an equally mediocre movie that lacks a good story, scares, and interestin characters. It's just another Swedish movie that is, by all means, a well made movie, but has nothing to actually offer if you've seen just a few classic ghost movies. "Sensoria" repeats the same old clichés, like moving into a new place, ghost children, seeing things behind hanging laundry, etc. These clichés are fine if you have some finesse to it, but we all know that's too much to expect from Swedish filmmakers. The main problem with "Sensoria" doing things other movies have done for decades, is that there is nothing else to it. That's all it has - and we've seen it done better many times before.

"Sensoria" actually manages to include a few atmospheric shots. The cinematography is its strongest asset by far. The exterior shots of the apartment building are great and considering it takes place in a typical apartment it manages to have some solid shots. The movie had all the potential in the world to be creepy, if only the plot and characters were playing along with the cinematography.

There's probably nothing major wrong with the acting in "Sensoria", but I can't help but be bothered by the Swedish language from actors who aren't great. I won't say that Lanna Ohlsson is a bad actress, but the portrayal is stale and underacted. Whether this is because of her or the director, I don't know. Less-than-great acting is fine, but not when the movie is missing too many components.

Atmospheric exterior shots aside, I can't really say much good about "Sensoria". The movie isn't terrible, but it's almost worse when a Swedish horror movie is mediocre. Who will remember a movie that is just repeating things you've already seen, and doing it worse? A really, really bad movie will be remembered almost as much as a great movie, but not a bland, boring, mediocre one. Even the name is forgettable.

Positive things:
- Some great atmospheric exterior shots.
- It's not horrible.

Negative things:
- Bland/mediocre and filled with clichés.
- It stood out as weird to have such obvious references in a serious movie, where the apartment is called "apartment 237", and a pizza place is called Lamberto's.

Gore: 0.5/5
Nudity: 1.5/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 0/5

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