Valley of Shadows


VALLEY OF SHADOWS (SKYGGENES DAL) DISC D: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen. Norway. 91 min. Sep 8, 9:45 pm, Scotiabank 14 Sep 10, 11:15 am, AGO Sep 15, 8:30 pm, Scotiabank 8. Rating: NN

A boy named Aslak (Adam Ekeli) translates family trauma that he barely understands into a monster he can’t see.

Gulbrandsen’s debut feature is like a slow and deliberate answer to Pan’s Labyrinth and A Monster Calls similar ideas but no puppetry or CGI.

Instead, his film is a long atmospheric slog through thick fog and crooked trees with a character who is wide-eyed and expressive but lacks the presence to shoulder a bare-bones plot. It would make an admirable short film, but at feature length the terror becomes tedium.

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