Insomnia (1997)

insomniaDirector: Erik Skjoldbjaerg

Writer: Erik Skjoldbjaerg, Nikolaj Frobenius (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Mathiesen, Stellan Skarsgard, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Giskenn Armand, Kristian Figenschow, Thor Michael Aamodt


Plot: In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Tense Thriller


Story: Insomnia starts with the brutal murder of the young woman Tanja (Mathiesen) before we see the Swedish investigator Jonas Engstrom (Skarsgard) arrive in Norway to help solve this crime with his partner Erik Vik (Ousdal). With the first piece of evidence discovered Jonas uses it as bait to hopefully draw the killer out, but with mist covering the area the killer is lost in the mist and Jonas finds himself in a foot race firing his gun randomly at what he thinks is the killer only to discover he has shot his own partner.

Covering up his own crime Jonas returns to look for the killer with the clues leading him to author Jon Holt (Floberg).

Insomnia is the original before Christopher Nolan cast Al Pacino and Robin Williams in the American remake, so going into this one I knew the basic story. I was surprised to see this film being much darker character made out of Jonas who just didn’t seem to want to play by any of the police rules when in the remake we get a cop that breaks the rules to get a conviction only. The killer just doesn’t feel very intense with the interactions just not hitting the true potential.

I can see why this helped inspire the remake and I can see just how it can stand out as one of the better dark thrillers out there.


Overall: Dark tense thriller that shows just how to cope with a mistake that can change your life.





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