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31 Days of Halloween

‘Cadaver’ review: Netflix horror from Norway delivers interesting story

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Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.

Few settings work as well for horror as a post nuclear wasteland. It is a genuine fear that many people grew up with. Plus, the bleak and desolate surroundings add to the atmosphere that many horror movies strive to achieve. It is one of the rare times that washed out colors can add to a movie’s feel. It is also always interesting to see a vision of how people would survive in this type of landscape.

Cadaver is a Norwegian horror movie set in post nuclear Norway. Lenora, Jacob, and Alice are a small family who can only depend on each other. Food is scare so when the three are invited to attend a gourmet dinner, it is no surprise they agree. They are not the only ones. Many who live in the area decide to attend. Then, the other guests start disappearing.

The movie does not just rely on its post apocalyptic setting to create atmosphere. Cadaver makes good use of silence to make things more ominous. This is common in horror movies and used to great effect here. The imagery in Cadaver is nothing short of beautiful. Even before the story shifts to the hotel it primarily takes place, there is almost a magical quality to the look of the movie. The sweeping musical arrangement when the family enters is also perfect.

Lenora stares early on things are too good to be true and in horror that is never a good sign. Cadaver sets in motion a story that asks what is and is not real. The premise is a very interesting one that will quickly draw in its audience. Cadaver kicks off with host Mathias telling everyone not to fear anything because nothing is real. Soon, blood is freely flowing and reality comes into question. It is also at this point, things become more straightforward.

The film sheds its initial idea and quickly becomes a standard horror movie. The added mystery of the makes up for the lack of genuine scares. Cadaver is less about visceral scares and is more about the imagined. When all is revealed, it may be disappointing for some. There is still the deeper sub context that fills films nowadays. But it mainly exists to entertain – and it succeeds.

Cadaver premieres on Netflix October 22.

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