Hellfjord

The Best of Fantastic Fest

It’s not hard to see that Fantastic Fest has come and gone for another year. If many a film fan could find a way to “wear black” on Twitter, they’d do so in mourning of the end of another great year of hardcore geekery. It was a diverse year for the Fantastic Fest programming team, bringing in equal numbers the intense, the gross, the violent, the real and the fun. On the whole, a truly “fantastic” experience for all involved. As we’ve done each year past, it is time for our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to round-up the festival and give you some parting thoughts. Most importantly, we’d like to leave you with a number of films that should occupy space on your horizon, films you should seek out when they finally get distributed in your region. To do this, each member of our coverage team has provided a recap of their experience and their three “Best of the Fest.” On the next page, you’ll find everyone’s nominations for the 2012 Death Squad Awards, highlighting the best films of each of Fantastic Fest’s competition categories.

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Hellfjord

In a day where shows are made, remade, and rehashed to remade again so that they become a Möbius strip of canned tedium that screams into a void paying as much attention to it as it does a mosquito bite, to see something pass by on its own set of legs is a mind-numbing pleasure. And what a set of gams Hellfjord has on it. From the very beginning, it wastes no time in piquing interest, it has a sale to make and wants to make sure everyone buys in. Hellfjord starts with Salmander (Zahid Ali) getting transferred from his position in the Oslo police force. He is a lightning rod of a PR nightmare due to actions involving his horse, Gunnar, at the Independence Day parade, actions that left many people traumatized. Unable to can him instantly due to technicalities, the department’s next best option is to ship him far, far away to allow things to cool down. The location settled on is way up north in the tiny town of Hellfjord (where 100% of the population smokes, the average age is 67, and 60% of the town is employed at the Hellfish processing factory). Begrudgingly, Salmander makes the trek, confident he can polish his name and be welcomed home if he does a good enough job as sheriff of a no-horse town. He’s greeted by Kobba (Stig Frode Henriksen), the acting sheriff, and together they make their way to the Hellfjord.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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