A couple decides to bring their friends out to a cabin for a bit of fun. But when two of the friends are planning to mess with the others, a girl climbs down to the basement and finds herself standing face to face with something hiding in the dark. Something that turns her into a bloodthirsty demon. The friends are soon hunted one by one, and for every kill another one turns.
There hasn't been a Swedish movie that the majority of horror fans have been looking forward to more than "Vittra" for quite a few years, and clearly my interest was piqued as well. It made itself clear from the start that "Evil Dead" served as great inspiration, and that alone is not a problem - hell, it's good that filmmakers draw inspiration from it. I was a bit afraid that they would let the old classic control this movie, though: that it would rather try and be "Evil Dead" than be influenced by it.
Storywise we can't judge it: it's teens going to a cabin. No one can be assaulted for using the concept, as "Evil Dead" once proved how much you can expand upon the simple concept. "Vittra" takes place in an old house, a very typically Swedish house. This sets a good mood because the country is filled with abandoned houses just like this one. It doesn't take long after they get there that one of them meets the evil that is lurking under the house, and becomes possessed by whatever powers it has. Later that night while the party has started for real, she is starting to feel sick. Quickly after that she has transformed into a zombie-like demon, with bright white eyes and a lust for flesh. She attacks one of the other girls, and as you'd expect: that girl will soon become one of them. The plot essentially ends here, to no surprise.
By the time they get to the cabin it has already, however, became clear to us that we're not in this for the great acting or the depth of plot. The writing of the dialogue might not be the problem, but rather the performances. It's basically everything that Swedes has came to dislike about Swedish horror/independent films. Admittedly, they are not all bad - I found Lisa Henni and Patrik Almkvist to be the two that managed through most of the movie without it feeling silly. And of course, Johannes Brost is a veteran so he's slightly above in many scenes, though not flawless himself either. The plot does pretty much end once one of them has turned, and stays the same up until the very end. The creature in the ground is almost forgotten about: not by us, but by the filmmakers. While I had wanted to give that one more time, especially regarding origins, I understand not wanting to dig too much into it. Just don't leave it out of the movie up until the very end, as that made it seem like an extended end. We we're nearly ready to call it a night by then! I won't go into the title of the movie and the connection with the creature, as I am happy to accept that they have built their own myth around it. Besides, it's better to give it a name from a Scandinavian mythology than just calling it "Demon", "Zombie", etc. (let's face it, the time for that is over).
Yes, the movie is not the best you'll find, in story or acting. In this sense it is what you're used to from this country by now. But it's the more entertaining Swedish horror of recent years, above "Psalm 21", "Insane" and the rest. I haven't seen "Let the Right One In" yet, because: fuck you, I have no interest. I can't say it's the best horror movie Sweden has ever made, especially not when we've had Ingmar Bergman crafting something like "Vargtimmen", among other classics. But yes, "Vittra" is not a terrible watch and I'll tell you why: the gore and the effects. This is the reason you have heard of the movie, and it's the reason you will watch it. It is, in fact, very gory. The gore looks good, and as expected from a movie essentially based on "Evil Dead", you can expect showers of blood. Whether it's decapitations or a demon biting off a lip, it's surprisingly effective.
I know for a fact that the movie will grow a nice reputation based on this, because there are so many horror fans out there who are just out for blood. Especially when this is one of the goriest movies Sweden has produced. Nothing wrong with just wanting that, and I think "Vittra" succeeds in that aspect. It's not a fantastic horror movie, but it has the heart in the right place and it doesn't mind spraying the blood. Therefor my time spent on this was not wasted, and I think you should check it out if you just want a stupid but gory movie. Especially if you're not Swedish, because then you might accept the acting more. Thanks to the house it manages to muster up some atmosphere as well!
The movie has since my review been released by Studio S Entertainment here in Sweden, as well as Artsploitation in the U.S.!