Sauna: Steam and Disturbing

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Sauna: Steam and Disturbing

Post  B Hatchet on Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:10 pm

I watched my first movie in Finnish the other night. It was a horror movie called Sauna. At first this title conjures up a movie that SyFy (don't even get me started about that name change) could cook up in an afternoon. However, I assure you, this film is anything but expected.

It takes place in 16th century Sweden/Russia. After the Swedes and Ruskies finished with one of their wars, they commission a group with two Finns and three Russians to map the border between the two countries. The main characters are the Finns, two brothers to be exact. The older one has been a soldier his whole life, since the war started. His eyesight is failing, and he has only tiny eyeglasses to help, which he loathes. He's violent and unpredictable, and he knows exactly how many people he's killed. The younger brother is smart and gentle, a university professor who draws maps, and hopes plotting the border will give him a chance to discover a new animal or insect to further his academic standing.

At the beginning of the movie, the brothers commit a heinous act. What they do exactly is a topic of much debate amongst people who have seen the film. The sin haunts the younger brother, even as they find a mysterious village full of exceptionally clean peasants. The population of the village happens to correspond with the number of people the older brother has killed. Even stranger is a sauna in the swamp just outside the village that the villagers claim can wash away your sins without you having to ask forgiveness.

There's a lot of disturbing imagery in this movie. It's a thriller, but it's more a character study of two very different brothers. It's very very open to interpretation, leaving some viewers frustrated and angry at the film and its director.

I, however, enjoyed the movie. It was shot and acted beautifully, and left me chilled and thrilled.
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Re: Sauna: Steam and Disturbing

Post  justjay - admin on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:03 pm

Thanks for sharing. I've heard some good buzz on this film but have yet to check it out. Your description, however, may be just what I needed to push me to seek this one out and finally watch it.

I'll let you know what I think about it once I see it.
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