Nordic Movies And TV Shows You should Watch Before the Remakes

Well we say that in the title but have thrown in one rogue movie which we felt was actually better than the original. Controversial? How dare we! Read on to find out which one!

Let The Right One In / Let Me In:
Based on the brilliant book by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, the original movie adaptation was later remade into ‘Let Me In’, which to be honest wasn’t so bad but it entirely lost the stillness and silence of the Swedish winters.

Many still herald Let The Right One In as one of the best vampire movies ever made, with even the late Roger Ebert declaring it as ‘the best modern vampire movie’. It was inevitable for a remake to happen, although it was later declared as director Matt Reeves’ version of the film rather than a remake, perhaps drawing inspiration from the original without wanting to compete. We recommend you read the book first, and then watch the original movie.

Force Majeure / Downhill:
Ruben Östlund is one of our favourite directors, and that after viewing just two of his movies. Force Majeure was the first, and the other being the brilliant The Square. Ruben has this incredible skill to make you feel awfully awkward as you watch scenarios play out, and in Force Majeure the focus is on a couple whose family ski trip goes awry when the husband decides to bolt it from his family when an avalanche almost hits a restaurant his family are eating at – raising a lot of questions.

The remake has a solid cast in Will Ferrell and Julie-Louis Dreyfus but has been met with really negative reviews – probably from people who saw those names and thought this was a comedy. It is, but more so in the darkest form.

In Order of Disappearance / Cold Pursuit:
We have been preaching about ‘In Order of Disappearance’ for some time now, especially as it is currently on Amazon Prime, and hope that people do the right thing and watch this movie instead (or at least before) they catch the like-for-like remake (for the SAME director) ‘Cold Pursuit’. Stellan Skarsgard is absolutely brilliant as a snowplough driver who, upon finding his son has been killed by some drug dealers, unleashes absolute chaos. It is funny, moving, and violent which is a perfect combination in our book and probably one of the reasons why we have it as one of our favourite Scandinavian movies.

So if it was that good then why a remake? Well we ask the question all the time but going down the Michael Haneke (he directed both the German and American remake of his Funny Games movie) route the director decided that he would direct the Hollywood remake with Liam Neeson. Reviews suggest it is pretty good but we are guessing those hadn’t seen the original and were just big Taken fans! The thing is Stellan Skarsgard is in such firm fine it seemed crazy to redo this – so take our word for it and check the original.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:
There was the great Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy which had it’s first movie remade by the excellent David Fincher and featured Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Not wanting to be controversial but we actually preferred the Fincher version and were so disappointed that it never went any further. Rooney Mara was superb as Lisebeth and, being big Bond fans (so therefore a bit biased) we thought Craig did a great job. Not there is anything wrong with the original and though the trilogy drags a little bit they are still an excellent collection of movies.

The Bridge:
How we miss the legendary Saga and her quirky blunt ways of handling people and murder investigations. All four seasons of the show were a huge hit but even just after one season the show had already had a remake in the wings- in fact not one but five! In the UK ‘The Tunnel’ was released where a French Politician was found in the… you guessed it – Channel Tunnel – leading to a cross-channel investigation. Whilst out in the States there was ‘The Bridge’ where a body is found on the borders between USA and Mexico…. You get the gist.

We do have to confess that the German/Austrian version, a series called ‘Der Pass’ / ‘Pagan’s Peak’ , took again the idea of a body found exactly on the borders but then went on a very different path from there. Despite some obvious hints of ‘The Bridge’ this did feel different, especially in it’s mountain setting. Fans of the ‘The Bridge’ we do recommend this one it is actually not bad however we all know which is the best!

The Killing:
This was pretty much where Nordic Noir began and it still remains one of the the all-time greats. So it was inevitable that there was going to be a remake of the series. Having seen the entirety of the US remake it was noticeably a bit of a drag despite a brilliant performance from lead cast. Both series whether Danish or American come with a bulky amount of episodes to get through. The Danish original has 40 episodes at 50 minutes a piece to get your way through – whilst the American version has 44 episode – so despite how good your binging skills might be you are in for a worth challenge getting through these series if you have not seen them before.

Have we made a terrible omission? We know there is Wallander with Keneth Branagh taking the lead – which was actually pretty decent and had the courtesy to be filmed in the same locations as the original in Ystad, South Sweden.

Let us know your thoughts!

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