Bodom Movie Review
Written by Simret Cheema-Innis
Released by Elekes Pictures
Written and directed by Gergö Elekes and József Gallai
2014, 65 minutes, Not yet rated
Vivien Turzó as Annikki
Bence Kovács as Pietari
Kata Tábori as Inkeri
Dániel Szabó as Jussi
Sándor Czeglédi as Detective Honkkanen
If you go out in the woods tonight you'll be sure of a big surprise. And Lake Bodom is not the place to be visiting or doing a thesis on.
Annikki and Pietari are two university students investigating a series of murders that happened in 1960 in Lake Bodom, Finland where 4 students were found brutally murdered with only sole survivor. Annikki manages to pry an interview from the survivor who discloses that 27 girls have disappeared in the forest in last thirty years. The interviewee becomes enraged and delirious; he seems adamant that the killing spree isn't over yet.
Fuelled with determination to seek the truth, Annikki drags a reluctant but obliged Pietari with her to Bodom where they discover their accommodation isn't as they expected. It's dilapidated, barely inhabitable and in the middle of nowhere but they haven't much choice with little money and an unreliable rental car.
Annikki becomes obsessed by Bodom and her quest to uncover the truth. Perhaps her motives run deeper than just uncovering a bunch of unsolved murders that occurred over 40 years ago. While by the lake, Annikki interviews two tourists, Jussi and his girlfriend Inkeri, who indirectly invite themselves over for drinks in the evening. Annikki is infuriated by Pietari for encouraging the get together and warns him not to get drunk.
When the couple arrive, Annikki does her best to keep her distance while everyone gets drunk. She eventually tells them to leave before Pietari and her retire to bed. In the middle of the night someone tries to steal their rental car, Pietari runs out suspecting it's Jussi and Inkeri. After discovering that their phones and money have been stolen, the panicked couple run into the forest in an attempt to find the place the tourists are staying. As they advance deeper into the forest, gunshots are fired, bodies are found and they become the hunted to an unknown predator.
The film does hold a genuine eeriness because it's loosely based on a true story, and put together rather well in a clean and coherent documentary-film style. It heralds credibility because it focuses on real events and contains all of the ingredients for a horror movie with tension, suspense and fear. But it fails in cementing the narrative together. There are too many characters with unknown motives. At a glance characters Jussi and Inkeri are just tourists, but then we're led to believe that they're a pair of thieves or perhaps integral to the overall Bodom myth.
Then there's the question of the mysterious gift left on the porch, a point in the story where Annikki reveals she's been receiving gifts every month for the last year. Pietari fails to react, which doesn't appear to be a normal and human reaction.
The ending of Bodom is an ambigious one as the truth isn't discovered or suggested. Character relationships are unclear, Annikki holds a grudge against Pietari throughout the film and seems to detest the fellow. She's also very passionate about the forest and nature. This could mean many things, she could be a girl seeking revenge, she could be one of the girls that went missing in the forest or maybe she was just an innocent student after all.
Either way fact, fiction and urban legends rest on blurred lines, with the outstanding question as to who are the victims and who are the predators.