Vidar The Vampire – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland – 2017

Is Jesus a Vampire? This is one of the central conceits of Thomas Aske Berg and Fredrik Waldeland’s absurdly violent and rude film Vidar The Vampire, a scandalous Norweigian romp, sure to please fans of Hammer horror and the kind of charming kitsch harnessed by the likes of Edgar Wright, Wes Anderson, and Jared Hess.

Vidar, played by Thomas Aske Berg, is a farmer whose life is monotony and work, and he prays to Jesus for a way out. And Jesus answers his prayers and offers the ‘body of christ’ in what is sure to be an all time classic of a scene. Subsequently, Vidar is transformed into a Vampire.

Vidar The Vampire cites the biblical text, “eat this it is my body, drink of this it is my blood” to justify a complete inversion of the Christ figure into broish ball of charisma. Brigt Skrettingland imbues the Jesus/Satan figure with a kind of rough charm and daemonical glee. He takes Vidar to prostitutes and promises him a sample of both women of twenty and twenty plus.

It is a testament to the acting chops and strong likability of the lead actors to make such insufferable fiends not only tolerable but hilarious. The film is at it’s best when poking fun at social awkwardness, the strange quiet moments experienced by someone who isn’t used to talking to people. In this way we root for Vidar to find connection as someone alienated. Unfortunately for Vidar, being a Vampire doesn’t really make things easier.

There is also a strong subtext about what it means to transform into a kind of night for day person, not so much a literal vampire but the obfuscation of life that living only in the night brings, and the kind of murky interactions that occur there, whether or not they lead to blood sucking.

Speaking of blood sucking, there is another, incredible moment where Vidar feeds that is an all time great vampire scene. The film is packed with cool in camera effects and this all lends to they type of Hammer feel I described above.

The cinematography is bleak and blue like the Norwegian setting and the score by Aske Berg is cool and atmospheric, navigating the grounded absurdity and the dreamlike sequences with fluid ease. There are also a few folk songs peppered throughout the film that create novel montages for growth in Vidar.

If you can handle the subversive text and enjoy silly, gory, sexy fun, Vidar the vampire is movie bliss.

 

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