Nothing evokes that eerie, outlandish sense of alarm quite like Scandinavian horror stories. They're just... different. Alien. I guess that's what happens in countries that are hidden in a blanket of perpetual darkness for six months of the year - things get a bit grim.
And that grimness translates well on-screen when the Scandinavians decide to make movies. The stories told are often gritty and harsh, stripped of any flashy adornments that might distract you from the plot. And somehow that makes them relatable. They're emotionally raw, just like we are when we're home alone at night with nothing but our own thoughts to keep us company. If you've seen the Swedish movie Let the Right One In you might know what I'm talking about. The story about a bullied and lonely boy befriending a strange blood-drinking girl was uncomfortable to witness, yet somehow it resonated with people. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. The movie did not make you jump in your seat, but it left us with an uneasy feeling we couldn't quite shake.
Let the Right One In is a movie that stays with you, and if you enjoyed it you might be interested in this. A Danish TV-series called Heartless is following in its footsteps and telling the story about two young vampires trying to find their place in this world.
"A beautiful supernatural thriller set in an elite Danish boarding school. Twins Sofie and Sebastian are no ordinary students. They were born with a curse and carry a dark and fatal secret: in order to live, they need to suck the energy out of other people. However, if they don’t stop their sucking in time, their victims will burn to death. Sofie and Sebastian try to find a way to overcome their curse but their new life at the school does not make it easy for them, especially as they have to contend with other more normal teen emotions. However, the siblings are not the only ones with secrets – a mystery that dates back to the year 1666 emerges, with elements of sin, life, death and mysterious powers."
Sounds good to me! It's definitely an interesting twist that they suck energy instead of blood, and I like that they were born with the curse rather than turned. It brings up a lot of questions, both for the characters themselves and for the viewer. The show is an original take on a very traditional genre, and it feels like a breath of fresh air.
Heartless premiered on Danish television back in in April 2014 and the first season is already completed. The show just began airing its second season in Denmark. If you're interested in watching the show, the first season will be available as a box-set on January 3, at this website. And if you're lucky enough to live in the UK you will also be able to stream it for free on the same site.
Here is the excellent trailer for the first season, in case you'd like to check it out.